A person waters their garden with a hose.

August Garden Maintenance & Watering Guidelines

With all the heat and sunshine of summer, it’s critical to know when, how, and how much to water your lawn, trees, and plantings. Proper watering is the best way to protect your investment in your plants!  Determining the needs of individual plants and parts of your property will take some time, so check out our watering guide for basic tips on your trees, shrubs, perennial beds and lawns.

Remember that these guidelines are no substitute for regular observation of your plants.  If you’re going away for a long period of time, especially if you have new plantings, arrange for someone to check in periodically to adjust watering if needed. A garden hose sprays about 5 gallons each minute, while a soaker hose gives you about 1 gallon per hour per 10’ hose. Relying on rain or sprinklers? Use a rain gauge or shallow container to measure rainfall/ irrigation (1.6” equals about 1 gallon per square foot.)

Black Swallow Wort

Now’s also the time to control pernicious weeds like Garlic Mustard, the winding Bittersweet vine, and Black Swallow Wort, which is harmful to monarch butterflies. Hand-pull seedlings and young plants, being sure to remove the entire root as well as the stem.

Got Annuals/ Perennials? Keep deadheading flowers and pinching back herbs for regrowth. Remember that once a bloom dies, the plant expends energy in seed production unless you remove the spent flower. In August, begin adding late season annuals for fall color.


Mowing Your Lawn: Set lawn mower to at least  3” to 3 ½”; allowing grass to grow tall reduces weed growth and the need for watering.

Trees and Shrubs: Prune branches post-flowering, as well as any broken, dead, or diseased branches.

Vegetables:Water, weed and add some compost to garden beds. Begin planting late season crops and ordering new bulbs now.