Author: Kevin Burness Date Posted:5 August 2021
The more you know and plan and the more you have a guide, the simpler the process of having great gardens and lawns becomes. This August gardening to do list is not a rigid plan but it should help you achieve garden and lawn success!
For me, August is the time to plan and prepare – along with a few important tasks that make spring much easier! I’m going to level with you, there’s a lot of boring but necessary tasks that are good to get out of the way before spring arrives and with it, the crazy weather.
You can still expect your lawns to grow at a slower pace and winter weeds have usually moved in or are about to germinate by now. Personally, I don’t stress over a little clover or the odd broadleaf weed most of the year and winter less so, but I despise Bindiis and August is Bindii month for me!
Bindii will be sprouting and it’s a good idea to hit them before they can flower and seed. I use this time to reduce the weeds in my lawn and because I’m proactive, I rarely see any.
How to use herbicides
While some might be a little adverse to herbicides, if you take care to follow the instructions, they can be helpful. I still avoid extensive use and really only spray my lawn a couple of times of year during August. This way, I find I can maintain any small weeds by hand weeding throughout the year.
As the lawn is growing at a slower pace and rainfall is generally low, August is the month to use herbicide seeing as I can work around any restrictions when it comes to spraying before or after mowing and avoiding runoff issues caused by weather. However, it can be a bit windy, so a little planning to select a suitable time is ideal to avoid spray drift.
As part of my more holistic approach to gardening and weeding, I apply once during early August and then a follow up application later in the month. As the weeds tend to recede and the grass starts to take off during September, this eliminates any vacant soil for weeds to germinate, as the grass quickly covers these patches.
Most of my weed issues are in shaded areas and spraying in the early winter generally leads to dead soil patches throughout the season that become filled with weeds come spring. I find it easier to maintain soil coverage with easily controlled weeds rather than bare soil to invite more – you don’t want more weeds! I also spray for a bit of nutgrass and here, my main concern is spray drift and runoff as I don’t want to damage the native sedge grasses in my dam, so it pays to take care!
It’s all about learning to work with your local conditions and how to safely use selective products. As gardeners, we should consider the environment a natural ally. Therefore, we need to be open minded to using alternatives and do our due diligence when it comes to any tools and products we use in the garden. However, I’m not opposed to ruling out chemicals, as I use what works and I use it sparingly and I educate myself about the products prior to use.
In between these couple of herbicide sprays, I still use Activ8mate, Seaweed Secrets and Nature’s Soil Wetter during August. This helps prepare my lawn for a big spring and soak up all that extra care I start giving it in September.
Depending on my local conditions, I increase my usage of Nature’s Soil Wetter as the soil gets drier (not so much if we’re experiencing wet weather). In the lead up to a spring lawn renovation, I find this increased usage really beneficial before and after scalping and topdressing.
Checking over garden tools and equipment
August also offers an ideal time to service and inspect all your tools and equipment before the hustle and bustle of the warmer months is upon us. This includes new mower blades, giving hand tools a clean and sharpen, fresh oils in machines, a quick coat of oil or even a new handle. I also inspect hoses and fittings and if needed, grab a few joiners or a new hose.
It’s normally about this time, what I consider the new gardening year, that I get a little excited and begin perusing garden shops and catalogues. If something is on the way out in April or May, I try to limp it through the winter, yes sometimes this can be a struggle, but it’s not as hard as it would be during spring and summer. However, come the growing season, I’m like a kid at Christmas and start looking at all the new garden tools – I doubt I’m alone in this!
While I try and get the most out of my tools, everything has a limit and gardening is certainly more enjoyable with well-kept and new tools, especially when they are called for! The right tools help and as with most things, quality matters. In saying this, I advise people take their personal needs into account and consider what they expect to get from particular garden tools.
For example, if you have fifty metres of lawn and a few small garden beds, you don’t really require premium tools. More often than not, I’ve seen people recommending commercial grade tools, be it mowers or secateurs, on garden forums. I prefer recommending the best quality to suit your needs and expectations.
I have a large garden and my most used tools, such as a crowbar and shovel, I’ve bought best I could afford, high quality products. The lesser used tools, I’ve selected with a tighter budget and I find they suit my needs for the few times I need them.
Shed spring clean
August also serves as a shed stocktake and dare I say, a shed clean-up. I provided fair warning of boring but necessary tasks! Start an early spring clean - give your garden storage area or shed a tidy up and check what fertilisers and other garden products you have left and that they are still stored safely.
Take stock of what’s needed and start looking at what supplies you need to order. With what’s going on in the world at present, it’s not uncommon for shortages and shipping delays and this will only worsen the closer we get to the growing season rush.
It might not be toilet paper, but even garden supplies can be in short supply. I don’t believe this to be the case with Plant Doctor, with who I’m about to order next season's fertiliser supplies from. I will also be purchasing some bulk compost and potting mix blends from a local landscape yard later in the month.
If you’re in need of fertiliser supplies, I recommend checking out Plant Doctor’s bundle deals. They’re ideal for awesome value and you can use my Simple Gardening discount code to receive extra savings!
Spring and summer bring the growing season, but they also bring storm season, so I use this time to clean my roof gutters and check drains around the garden, in preparation of all that extra rain. As I live on tank water and use dam water for the gardens, I need to ensure I capture any rainfall. It’s great for gardeners to harvest the rain but keeping gutters and drains functional is essential for water to move to safe spaces, be absorbed by the garden or released if there is excess. Water is vital to a flourishing garden, so it’s sensible to help work with what nature provides rather than wearing additional costs.
Gardening activities should continue throughout winter - my gardening chores are evidence of that! I’ve recently planted potato and herb seeds, tackled some pruning and composted all the waste, given the warm week expected. I’ll also be mulching the veggies and herbs later this week as well as giving them a boost with Activ8mate and Seaweed Secrets.
Gardening is a joy and I absolutely love it, but I do also approach it with a few processes and plans to keep me and the gardens on track. Part of writing these blogs is to share the mindset I use and to try and keep gardening simple – hence the name!
The more you know and plan and the more you have a guide, the simpler the process of having great gardens and lawns becomes. It’s not a rigid plan and there’s always issues when dealing with mother nature. But I hope these blogs can help you achieve something special in the garden without it being an uphill climb.
To see a little more of what I’m up to in my gardens, please visit my @simplegardening page on Facebook where I post little bits as they happen or just cool things I see in my gardens. Until the next post, enjoy the outdoors and play in the dirt. It’s not long until spring and that’s when gardening gets fun!
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