Garden Tasks by Month | August in Zone 5

 Dear Garden Diary,

All my summer entertaining happens outdoors these days. Why? 

Because my garden in August looks just so pretty that I want to share it with everybody!

August calendar with fresh zinnia flowers

 So many bright and colorful flowers. 

So many baby Robins, bees, butterflies, squirrels and humming birds visit daily.

Luckily, work-wise there's not a whole lot of garden chores to do this month. Just maintenance tasks... which means I get a lot more time to really savour my garden sanctuary.

xoxo Pia


Blue front door with yellow and pink flowers in garden
Walk up the steps to my front door in August... and this is the view you're greeted with.

What Tasks/ Chores to do in my Garden in August? 
A Garden Maintenance Checklist for Zone 5

 Spruce Up

Hedges and Bushes- Trim hedges to keep them tidy and in shape.

Bird Baths- Clean bird baths daily, scrub with a brush to remove algae. Refresh with clean water daily to prevent spreading bird flu, as well as, curtailing mosquito population.

Deck- Sweep the deck of fallen leaves, dust off cobwebs that that are prone to appear every morning during this month.

Flowering Annuals- Deadhead spent flowers or trim back leggy, untidy growth to promote new buds and constant blooms.


Re-pot House Plants

☐  It's time to refresh those tired looking or overgrown houseplants, especially if roots are growing out of the drainage holes. Thin, divide or transplant to a slightly larger pot as necessary.


Shop End-of-Summer Sales

Garden centers and home stores start deeply discounting their summer plants and summer garden furniture and decor in order to make place for Fall merchandising. Visit these stores to score great deals on summer plants and garden decor (sun umbrellas, outdoor rugs, outdoor cushions, birdhouses etc.)


Herbs- This month, herbs are at the their most intense flavors. Pinch and clip herbs (mint, sage, oregano, tarragon, thyme) to use in cooking.

Vegetables- Harvest tomatoes as they turn ripe on the vine. Onions and potatoes are ready to be harvested as soon as the plants' foliage begins to turn brown.

Fruits- Harvest cherries, nectarines, peaches, plums and apricots.

Blue pot with tomatoes, blue ceramic thyme sign and green watering can
I grow my herbs and tomatoes in pots on my deck.



Keep up with the watering schedule.Water regularly to avoid losing plants to the heat. Keep an eye out for drooping plants. Water garden beds in the morning.

☐ Water outdoor container plants and hanging baskets daily. Drooping plants and dry soil is a clear indicator plants need watering.

☐ Water lawns once a week.

 Water newly planted trees, shrubs, perennial and roses every week. They should receive 1 inch of water/ week. 



Lawn Care

☐ Water lawn once a week deeply to encourage strong roots that go deep. Lawns require about 1 to 1.5 inches of water per week. 

  • Set the sprinkler for 1 hour once a week or 30 minutes twice a week.
☐ Mow lawn once a week. See "How to Mow the Lawn- Mowing Tips & Tricks"
  Edge lawns to create a clean, sharp, manicured look.

Weed and Mulch

Watch for weeds and continue to hand weed regularly.
After weeding garden beds, apply a thick layer of mulch to control re-emergence of weeds and to retain moisture.


Fertilize container plants and hanging baskets every 2 weeks. Be sure to water plants well before fertilizing. Avoid fertilizing in the heat of the day. Choose a cool evening to fertilize.

Rose Care

☐ Fertilize roses (beginning of each month June, July, August, September). See How and When to Fertilize Roses.

☐ Deadhead repeat flowering roses after they bloom. Cut back to the first set of five leaflets.


Plan for next year

Make rough sketches of the garden (empty spots, places to plant bulbs or move plants to) to help plan for next year.

Order Spring Bulbs- Peruse bulb catalogs and order spring blooming bulbs in time for Fall sowing. Check out the 10 bulbs I plant in my garden every Fall.


Sit outside every day and enjoy the garden. 

Take plenty of photos of the garden. Compare them over the years and in different seasons to see how the garden has progressed.

See: My garden in 4 seasons

Dress up the deck, add punchy cushions to patio furniture, eat outside more often. Invite friends over to share your lovely garden retreat.

See how I decorated my deck in my back garden: 10 Ideas for Creating a Gorgeous Deck

☐ Cut flowers from the garden and bring them into the house to arrange and enjoy for yourself. Check out my Monday Morning Blooms of little arrangements that I make with flowers gathered from my garden.

In case you missed it, also see:

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