your AUGUST yard + garden checklist 

About this time every year, things feel a bit bleached out and a little crispy. Despite our good intentions, we might miss watering our pots or newly planted trees and shrubs now and then (and more than we should), and it shows.

We always see August as a grace period. We’re given a little time between the laid back summer vibe and a colorful fall to sort of regroup and get a few things done. So let’s get to it:



Your summer-flowering hydrangeas, spirea and others are probably looking a little past their prime right now. Once they do, you can prune for shape and remove any dead or diseased branches.

Two notes: now is not the time to prune spring-blooming flowers because next year’s buds are already forming. Also, less is more. Keep your pruning light for the most natural look. If you’re planting the right plants in the right places, you shouldn’t have to prune drastically to control size.


Right about now our spring- and summer-planted pots are looking a little leggy, wilted, sparse, or all of the above. By all means stick with a container that looks healthy and vibrant, but for the rest, it’s a perfect time to clean them out. We wash ours with warm water and a mild soap and leave them empty for a bit, ready to house fresh soil and fall plants or an even easier Grab & Go porch pot that can be dropped right into your container.

3. tidy up.

Remove fallen leaves from flowers when you can, seeding weeds and rotting produce, they’re just targets for disease and pests.


Time to regroup, right? We like to add a little organic matter to our landscape beds to replenish the depleted soil. We sprinkle in some gentle but powerful Elements fertilizer and finish with a couple inches of organic hardwood mulch, which happens to look really nice, too!

5. plan for planting.

As you’re reading this, it may still be oppressively steamy. But things will start cooling off, and it always pays to think ahead. Walk your yard and pay attention to empty patches, spots that would benefit from additional shade, privacy, color or texture. If you need help envisioning the possibilities, you can always book a DIY Snapshot Consult with Dana Altum or an At-home Yard and Garden Consult with a Plant Expert. It’s some of the best money many of our customers tell us they’ve ever spent on their yards and landscapes.

6. banish the bareness.

Bring on the color and texture! Pre-order colorful, frost-tolerant mums, marigolds, cabbage and kale for your containers and landscape. When you order now, we set aside exactly what you want when it arrives. And because fall is one of the best times to plant, ordering trees and shrubs early will allow you to get the right plant for the right place and get them in the ground with enough time to establish themselves before winter.

For busy people and people who don’t want to get their hands dirty, pre-order your pre-planted Fall Grab & Go Porch Pots and drop right into your containers.


Trimming back to a few inches from the ground will most likely give you one more fall crop of herbs like basil, cilantro and dill. Or you can always take one for the team and let them flower out for the pollinators. Because we love our pollinators.


If you didn’t clean your yard and garden tools at the start of spring, now is a good time and then you’ll just have to wipe them down a bit before storing the end of fall. If you notice rust spots, remove with steel wool, then spray with a rust-prohibitive paint.

9. overseed or spot seed as needed.

Late summer and early fall, when things cool down a bit, is an excellent time to focus on thickening your lawn. We’ll keep this simple and direct you to one of our most searched articles, How To Seed (and Spot Seed) Your Lawn.

10. keep the water coming.

It’s really important to stay on a schedule. We promise, you’ll notice a difference. Keep this guide handy or give us a call with questions.

And remember, plant the right plants for the right places. Meaning? Pay attention to plants that thrive in full sun, shade, even in drought-like conditions once established…whatever the requirement. It will make your job much easier. It also helps to plant plants that are native and hardy in Indiana soil, something you’re guaranteed to find when you shop with us.


Have questions? Just give us a call at (317) 733-GROW or send us an email at We’re here for you and we’ll make sure you have whatever you need, now and in the future.