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Southeast Regional Reports

Southeast: August Garden To-Do List

Gather and scatter the seeds of reseeders like these 'Black Beauty' poppies (Papaver somniferum ‘Black Beauty', annual). Photo: Carol Collins.

Replace spent annuals. If some of your annuals are truly flagging, it’s OK to pull them out. Either replace them with some bold-foliaged heat-loving tropicals, or just mulch the bed, go on vacation, and wait for pansy (Viola × wittrockiana cv., annual) season.

Plan for a late crop. As hot as it is, now is the time to direct-seed your cool-weather vegetable garden, or begin indoors for planting next month. It’s also a good time to scatter seeds of old-fashioned reseeders like poppies (Papaver somniferum, annual), love-in-a-mist (Nigella damascena, annual), foxglove (Digitalis and cvs., Zones 3–9), and black-eyed Susans (Rudbeckia fulgida var. fulgida, Zones 4–9).

Watch your watering. If drought strikes, be sure you are deep watering, especially recently added plants. Water herbs or vegetables in the evening and harvest in the morning. Be sure to dry some herbs to savor this winter.

Pause, plan, and rest. Evaluate your garden during this most challenging time of year. Take some notes and a few wide shot pictures. Attend a gardening symposium or botanical garden classes, or catch up on podcasts while on vacation. Relax so you can be refreshed for the fall season.

Oregano can be cut and dried for winter. Photo: Steve Aitken.

Paula Gross is the former Assistant Director of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte Botanical Gardens.

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