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Saturday, August 9, 2008

August is a great month for planting

Granted, the long hot days of August do not conjure up visions of heavy duty work in the garden; however, August is a great month for planting. Shrubs, trees, perennials and fall vegetables can be planted during the month of August with great success.


You may already have this specimen growing somewhere in your yard, but the American Bittersweet is a sweet addition to most New England gardens. The native plant provides the red, yellow and orange berries in the fall which are popular in fall arrangements. There are many cultivars of the plant, with an Asian variety, the oriental bittersweet becoming more abundant than the original. The USDA says the plant, while poisonous, was originally used by Native Americans as an emergency food staple and ointment.


It is a scientific fact that large shade trees can actually save homeowners money on the cooling of their home. Globally trees are destroyed at an annual rate of the size of Greece. To promote the planting of trees, the United Nations launched The Billion Tree campaign. The campaign combines individuals, businesses and communities in an effort to reforest the planet. The goal is 7 billion trees by the end of 2009. To date nearly 4 billion trees have been pledged and nearly 3 billion planted. Participants visit the website to make their pledge and find out the proper tree planting procedures. A few great choices for New England are London Plane Trees, Oaks and Maple.


An exquisite fall perennial flower choice to add to your garden is the Japanese anemone. With a height of 3-5 feet and large flowers that stretch around 4 inches, the fall blooming perennial adds a lovely touch to your garden. The Japanese Anemone prefers partial sun/shade conditions and well drained soil.


During the first week of August, gardeners can plant several varieties of vegetables for picking during the beginning of fall. Colder weather does not indicate the end of summer salads, you can sow lettuce and spinach during the beginning of August.

Other vegetables to plant include another batch of onions, carrots and beets that will be ready for picking before the first frost.

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