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Harker Heights Evening Star
Harker Heights Evening Star

Landscapes in August

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Joyce Friels

Local Gardening


The scorching heat of August in Central Texas is here and our landscapes are looking stressed.  Here are some things to keep in mind so your landscape plantings will survive these hot temperatures and continue to grow healthy.

Let’s look at any established shrubbery in your landscape. The long weeks of hot, dry weather are hard on shrubs. Pruning should have already been completed before August. Do not prune any flowering shrubs now as pruning will remove the very small buds that are now forming for next year’s bloom. Pruning of non-flowering shrubs will stimulate new growth that may not mature enough to endure the freezing weather this winter. August is not the time to plant or transplant shrubs. This should be done in October through December. If new shrubs were planted or transplanted this spring they should be mulched with three to four inches of fresh mulch. This will help keep the soil from building up heat. Deep watering is essential.

Don’t even think of planting roses in this August heat! Wait until the cooler days of October through January. Established roses need water in August. Water thoroughly four to six inches deep into the ground.

If you can find perennial plants at the nursery now, select salvias. They are heat tolerant and will display their blooms way into the fall season. They are an excellent choice to fill in any bare spots where other perennials or annuals need to be replaced. Keep them watered.

Lawns get dry and brown during this heat. Continue to water them. Watering in the morning is best. Annual flowers looked great when they were first planted in the spring but are now looking very scraggly. Check local nurseries for more heat tolerant plants to replace those that have gone past their prime.

Wait until October through March to plant any shade trees. However, August is the time to evaluate your landscape to determine where shade trees need to be added or replaced. Shade trees are very beneficial in keeping the hot sun off the home in the summer months. They should be planted on the southwestern or western side of the home. Deciduous trees will shade the home in the warm months. When the leaves fall the sun will provide warmth for the home in the colder months. Trees can also be planted on the south side of the home.

These tips should help keep you and your landscape less stressed. It’s just a matter of planning and maintenance.


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