Central Plains Gardener's August Checklist

The blossom season is far from over, particularly if you’ve got native plants. Butterflies and other beneficial pollinating insects are out in full force looking for food, whereas birds are looking for water that you are able to provide. Keep a watch out for thirsty vegetable beds as you continually harvest, ensuring a continuous supply of produce.

Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens

In August, lots of native perennials are prospering, such as Culver’s Root and Eupatorium — both low-maintenance butterfly magnets for damp to medium soils. Above, tall Joe Pye Weed (Eupatorium purpureum) adds architectural interest to a native plant garden, and is a fantastic perch for birds.

Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens

Nodding onion (Allium cernuum) is a drought-tolerant, late-blooming, 12-inch-tall decorative onion with fascinating, droopy, War of the Worlds spaceship blossoms (can you see it?) . It brings bumblebees and hummingbirds, and works great at a moon garden.

Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens

Sweet coneflower (Rudbeckia subtomentosa) is a taller, to 5 feet, black-eyed susan for medium to moist clay soils. Like others in the household, it will bloom cheerily for weeks in heat and humidity, and will provide you a fantastic crop of seeds to winter sow outdoors in the autumn.

Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens

This is prime butterfly season. You’re able to deadhead flowers and hope for another, smaller flush, or abandon them up for winter interest. Most birds will consume the seeds in autumn, which means you’ve got to decide if deadheading would be well worth the bet. Usually it’s ideal to leave up coneflowers and other mid- to later-summer bloomers, but summer flowers might be a fantastic bet to reduce. This tiger swallowtail is enjoying a pit stop.

Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens

It is hot out there, so make certain you’ve got a water source for birds. Running or muddy water will attract the many birds, and this activity creates droplets or small pools on leaves or soil that butterflies and other insects can more easily drink. A bonus is that the fountain might mask undesirable sounds, such as car stereos.

Oak & Holly Garden Design

I see neighbors watering beds and lawns in 4 pm, which is a really wasteful time to water as wind and warmth evaporate moisture long before it reaches roots — morning is a far better time. In addition, for vegetable and flower beds, drip irrigation is a fantastic way to go — it receives water right where it’s required, and uses less water, too. Install a timer on your hose and you’re never going to have to think twice as watering.

Provided that items are watered and you continue selecting, vegetables will continue producing. Green beans are a clear example, but watermelons are arriving on, too — and tomatoes, squash and others are in full glory. Enjoy the bounty!

What exactly are you growing for yourself along with the wildlife?

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