Your guide for gardening this month.

David Hillegas

It’s tough navigating the harsh late-summer heat when tending to your precious plants, but these tips will give you a heads-up about everything you should (and shouldn’t) be doing in your garden right now. Trust us, you can never be too prepared when it comes to being a Southern green thumb.

Feed

Fertilize repeat-blooming roses (including hybrid tea and "Knock Out") with a product that's specifically labeled for roses, and follow the directions carefully. If the fertilizer is granular, be sure to water it in well after applying to get the nutrients down to the plants' roots.

Harvest

Pick summer veggies on a regular basis. Beans, squash, okra, and others grow tough and/or bitter if left on the plant too long, and if the seeds inside them start to mature, the plants may stop producing. Prime picking time is first thing in the morning.

Trim

This is the last month for heavy pruning of hedges and evergreens before they go dormant in November and December. Trimming too late could cause new growth that won't harden off in time for a freeze and will be killed.

Watch

Brown patch, a common lawn disease, thrives in hot weather. It begins as an irregularly shaped spot of brown grass that soon enlarges into a big dead patch. Treat it and the healthy grass around it according to label directions with a liquid or granular fungicide.

Buy

Order spring bulbs that you can't find at local garden centers now for the best quality and selection.

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Pinch

Coleus is grown for its colorful foliage, not its wimpy spikes of blue flowers. Even new selections tend to start blooming in late summer. Pinch off flowers so your plants will grow bushier and look better.

Forget It

Don't even think about transplanting anything growing in the ground now unless you want to kill it. It's too hot. Stow away the shovel until at least mid-October.

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