• Warm season grasses to fill in bare areas. Planting in early August allows enough time for grass to establish roots before cold weather. Water frequently, keeping grass moist, until roots are solidly attached to the soil.
  • Add fall perennials such as mums, fall asters, fall crocus and oxblood lilies as well as fall annual color plants such as zinnias, marigold and cosmos. Keep soil moist until temperatures return to the low 90s.
  • Plant beans, cucumbers and squash in early August. Add 2 to 3 inches of mulch in the area near the planted seeds to maintain moisture and moderate soil temperatures. Keep soil moist, but not soggy, until seeds produce two leaves.
  • If you saved seed potatoes from your spring harvest, plant those that have developed eyes.
  • If you want to try growing a Halloween pumpkin, plant in early August.
  • Seeds for cold weather vegetable crops such as cabbage, broccoli or cauliflower can be planted — be certain to keep the soil moist through germination. If using transplants for cold season vegetables, wait until September to plant them.


  • Harvest black-eyed peas and okra.
  • Harvest summer annual herbs, such as basil, and perennial herbs as needed.
  • Apples and pears can be harvested in late August – pick when the fruit detaches easily from the tree. Pick figs when they have ripened completely and are slightly soft to the touch, but have not split open.

  • Cut grass to appropriate heights and water deeply once a week. Mow St. Augustine at about 3 inches, common Bermuda at 1-1/4 to 1 ½ inches. Best mowing height for Hybrid Bermuda and zoysia varies depending on variety. Buffalograss should be mowed to 3 to 3 ½ inches. Mow frequently to keep grass low and spreading. Use a mulching mower to feed the soil rather than bagging grass and sending it to a landfill.
  • Remove dead branches from trees and shrubs.
  • Prune roses about 1/3 to support new growth and fall blooms.
  • Prune summer annuals that have become leggy to prepare for a fall flower show. This include lantanas, zinnias, coleus and firebush.
  • Add 2 to 4 inches of mulch to beds, if prior applications have decomposed and left thin or bare spots.

  • Container plants with time-release nitrogen fertilizer.
  • St. Augustine grass. Use high-nitrogen for sandy soils and all nitrogen for clay soils.
  • Roses with nitrogen – water thoroughly after pruning and fertilizing.
Watch For:

  • Remember to add water to birdbaths to help our feathered friends survive the heat and drought. Keep animal water sources away from the house or play areas to decrease possible mosquito attacks.
  • Weevils and shuckworms in pecan trees. Unless you choose to spray chemicals – following container directions or instructions from AgriLife, these insects will ruin your pecan crop.
  • Other bad landscape guys include gray leaf spot in St. Augustine, which turn areas yellow and displays gray-brown lesions on leaf blades. Nutsedge and broadleafed weeds crop up in lawns. You may choose to treat nutsedge with Image and broadleafed weeds with a product containing 2,4-D.
  • Borers on peach trees and cotton root rot plague many woody plants. For more guidance, check Jerry Parson’s article, Pecan Webworms, Honeydew and Cotton Root Rot.
  • Spider mites come come out in the heat and leave small brown spots on the leaves of your plants. Control is required to keep the plant alive and productive.
  • Chinch bugs in St. Augustine. The bugs cause dry dead patches in sunny areas of St, Augustine lawns. Can be treated with an appropriate insecticide.
  • Problem Solver offers pictures and brief descriptions of some of the more common landscape pests and diseases.
  • Turf Grass Pests and Diseases from Texas AgriLife Extension Service – lots of pictures and descriptive information to help you diagnose and treat landscape and turf problems.
  • If you are growing citrus trees in containers, you need to be aware of Citrus Greening Disease.  This link from the Texas Department of Agriculture contains information and pictures, as well as contact information.
Thanks to Neil Sperry for information from his “Texas Gardening Calendar” and the “Texas Gardener Magazine” magazine. Other sources that helped provide ideas or content include PLANTAnswers Garden Calendar, “Texas Garden Almanac” by Doug Welsh and “Texas Gardener’s Resource” by Dale Groom and Dan Gill.

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