Compiled by Linda Lee,
WSU Master Gardener
January | February | March | April | May | June | July | August | September | October | November | December
~ August ~
- This is the month to dig and divide your astilbe and bearded iris. A sharp knife will do the trick. It’s easy to see the corms on your iris. Carefully cut them free of the clump making sure you have an eye on each one. When replanting be sure to have half the corm on top of the soil by making a small mound, placing the corm on top of the mound and spreading the roots. Then cover the roots leaving the corm above ground. Plant where there is good drainage and lots of sun.
- Astilbe can also be cut with a sharp knife. Large plants can be divided with a sharp shovel. Watch where the stems come up and cut between the sections. Replant in partial shade for best results. Mine get sun all morning and up till one or two o’clock in the afternoon. They seem quite happy. When you see directions to plant them in the shade it usually means in other than coastal climates. I have tried the shade and got spindly plants with few blooms. Others have had good luck with moderate shade. They seem to require protection from the hot afternoon sun.
- August is also a time to be sure that the plants get enough moisture. Most established perennials require only an inch of moisture a week. Annuals and garden veggies require more. A regular watering routine should be established early on. By letting the plants ‘tell’ you when they need water, you are stressing them. Check the soil for dryness by sticking your finger into it. If it is dry to the first knuckle, you need to water. Keeping a small inexpensive trowel near your garden plants is another easy way to test for soil moisture. Just turn the soil with the trowel to see how deep is the moisture.
- Keep up with winter annuals such as Shot Weed and Creeping Oxalis. The best way to get rid of these is to smother them with mulch.