Monthly Archives: July 2016


August Gardening Tips

Hello Friends, Neighbors, Fellow Gardeners,

Here are some gardening tips, educational opportunities,and events for August. Events include the University of Maryland, Montgomery County Grow It Eat It Open House on Saturday, August 6th; Montgomery County Agricultural Fair on August 12–20, 2016; and the Little Bennett Great Outdoors Festival on August 20th!


  • Check your local garden center for end-of-summer bargains.
  • It is harvest time and also a good time to start taking stock of what worked well for you this season and what didn’t.
  • Order garlic, onions, and shallots for fall planting.
  • Order spring-flowering bulbs to arrive for planting this fall.
  • Attend a county fair and enter some of your garden bounty.
  • Plan where to plant your fall bulbs.Hillwood Estates garden
  • Take photos and update your garden journal.
  • Set aside a few hours each weekend for attending garden shows and tours. | DC Gardens
  • Go on a local house or garden tour to see what plants are thriving in other’s area home gardens:

Flowers and Groundcovers:orange mums

  • Cut petunia stems back by 2/3rds and fertilize.
  • Divide and cut back Bearded Iris and Peonies.
  • Divide Hostas and Daylilies.
  • Cut back any leggy Asters or Mums.
  • As the days get cooler, plant hardy mums.
  • 10 Native Vines for Your Garden that Attract Wildlife | from the MidAtlantic Gardener
    • honeysuckle flowersThis article provides a list of 10 native vines to attract wildlife in the Mid-Atlantic region.
  • Inspect for powdery mildew. If seen, prune back perennials to create needed circulation. Discard properly (i.e., not in your compost bin).
  • Renew your container plantings, which may be looking a bit ragged at this point. Pinch back overgrown plants. Pull out any spent ones and pop in some substitute annuals or mums. Keep them well-watered and add a little liquid fertilizer every few weeks to keep them going through early autumn.
  • Start seeds of pansies, calendula, flowering cabbage, kale, other fall annuals.
  • Weed and weed some more.
  • Pests to watch for: Aphids, spidermites, whiteflies
  • Diseases to watch for:  powdery mildew, fungal leaf spot
  • See UMD’s HGIC’s August Flower tips for more details.

Trees and Shrubs:

  • Don’t transplant azaelas this month.
  • Avoid late summer pruning.
  • Water slowly and deeply if summer is very dry.
  • Prune evergreens to get in shape for fall/winter.
  • Pests to watch for: sawfly, lacebug, webworm, spidermites, leafminers, caterpillars, scale, aphids, borers, and bagworms.
  • Diseases to watch for: Powdery mildew.
  • See HGIC’s August Trees and Shrubs Tips for more details.

Herbs, Veggies, and Fruit:

Harvest Time!
Harvest Time!
  • The first week in August is the last week recommended to plant beans, peas, and carrots for fall.
  • Harvest leaves of herbs used in cooking (rosemary, basil, sage) in the early morning, for best flavor.
  • At the end of the month, begin planting cool-season vegetables (turnips, carrots, beets, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, Chinese cabbage,  cauliflower, kale, lettuce, mustard, radish, and spinach ).
  • Preserve gourds and dry flowers for display in the fall.
  • Deadhead garlic chives before they go to seed. Makes a nice cut-flower.
  • Turn your compost pile and don’t let it dry out!
  • Pests to watch for: Squash vine borer.
  • Diseases to watch for: Powdery mildew, fungal, bacterial, viral diseases.
  • Here are some more fruit and vegetable gardening tips for August from UMD’s HGIC.


  • Over seeding may be done now through October.
  • Keep newly-seeded lawns well watered!
  • Check for mosquito breeding grounds. Dump out any water that sits stagnant for more than three days.
  • Cool season lawns go dormant in hot, dry weather – Do Not Water.
  • Diseases to watch for: dollar spot, brown patch and red thread
  • Pests to watch for: Grubs
  • See HGIC’s August Lawn Tips for more details.


  • Prune potted bougainvillea or hanging baskets that will overwater inside.
  • Bring Christmas cactus and poinsettias indoors if you took them out for the summer in preparation for holiday blooming. Fertilize them and put them where they’ll get just 10 hours’ bright light per day.
  • Monitor for insect problems.
  • Pests to watch for: Spidermites, mealybug, scale, aphids, squirrels, whitefly
  • See HGIC’s August Houseplants Tips for more tips.

Indoor/Outdoor Insect and Wildlife Tips:

  • Switch your deer deterrent spray.rabbits
  • Keep birdfeeders and baths cleaned and replenished. Change water frequently to avoid mosquitoes.
  • See HGIC’s August Insect Tips for more details.
  • Watch for: rabbits, groundhogs, deer, moles, snakes, squirrels, and voles.
  • For more information on wildlife management and attracting wildlife see HGIC’s August Wildlife tips.

Source: University of Maryland’s Home and Garden Information Center (HGIC) and the Washington Gardener.


See below for upcoming local events in August.


Montgomery Parks Special Events & Festivals

More events are being added regularly. Please check back often!

Additional information on Summer Festivals: Montgomery Parks Announces 2016 Summer Festivals

?Save the date for these upcoming Summer events! Events include the Montgomery County Agricultural Fair on August 12–20, 2016, and the Little Bennett Great Outdoors Festival on August 20th!


University of Maryland, Montgomery County Grow It Eat It Open House

Saturday, August 6th

9am to 1pm (some programs start earlier/later)8_6-open-house-flyer-final

Location: Agricultural History Farm Park
18400 Muncaster Rd, Derwood MD 20855

We are celebrating the year of the tomato!

We have an amazing line-up of speakers, demonstrations, children’s programs, garden projects, plant advice, tomato tasting, and inspiration.  Stroll through our garden and get ideas of what to plant at home.  Bring your plant and tomato problems to our two plant clinics.

Don’t forget to bring your tomatoes for the tomato tasting!  There will be prizes for the prettiest, ugliest, and tastiest tomatoes!

Come purchase plants from vendors, including Chesapeake Natives, garden products, Fall vegetable plants, local honey and honey products, rain barrels, local pottery, and products for caring for chickens.

Grab your picnic blanket, bring your lunch (or purchase one from us at the event).

The event is free and does not require registration unless otherwise noted.

Children’s  ProgramsChildren's Discover Program
All children are welcome.

Discover Flowers
Suggested for grades 4 & 5

Discover Gardening
Suggested for grades 4 & 5

Discover Trees
Suggested for Grades 6, 7, & 8

The preliminary schedule of events can be found here:

Montgomery County Agricultural Fair

August 12–20, 2016mcagfair-logo

501 Perry Parkway
Gaithersburg, MD 20877

General Admission: $10, Children 11 & under are FREE(Free same day re-admission, get your hand stamped at the gate before departing).

  • Parking: $10 cash per car at the fairgrounds.
  • Group Rate: $7 per person (with 15 people or more).Must be purchased on one transactionand picked up prior to the first day of the Fair.
  • FREE parking and shuttle bus service from Lakeforest Mall, located at Lost Knife Rd. and Odenhal Ave.


2016 Great Outdoors Festival

Great Outdoors Festival - Little Bennett Campground

Saturday, August 20
10:00 a.m.- 2:00 p.m. | Free! | Little Bennett Campground

School starts on August 30th so make sure you get some sun and fun before heading back to class!

Celebrate the outdoors at Little Bennett Great Outdoors Fest!  This free family event features our new pedal carts, jumping pillow, tours of the yurts, along with hay rides, live music, S’mores, hikes and fun at Little Bennett Campground!

Get ideas on how to protect and enjoy our great outdoors from local organizations and retailers, conservation groups and Montgomery Parks. Little Bennett Campground features 91 campsites (including 3 yurts) just steps away from the more than 20 miles of trails at Little Bennett Regional Park!

More Info

Facebook Info

July Garden Tips – Edible Flowers


Here are some edible flowers from Mill Creek Towne Garden Club’s Vice President and Master Gardener, Heather Whirley’s garden!

edible flowers

From left to right in the photo: 
  1. CALENDULA/Calendula officinalis also commonly called Pot Marigold, used to flavor and color soups and stews, petals are edible as a topping for salads.  Has a bitter flavor.
  2. LAVENDER – Lavandula angustifolia – floral flavor used in icings, cakes, cookies and pastries.  Recommended varieties for culinary use are “Munstead” and “Hidcote.”
  3. CHAMOMILE/Chamaemelum nobile, Matricaria recutita – used in teas for calming effect.  Do not use or use sparingly if you have allergies to ragweed, as this plant is in the same family. Two types – Annual is the German Matricaria recutita and the perennial Roman is Chamaemelum nobile.  Use the flowers of either type interchangeably in the kitchen.
  4. THYME/Thymus spp. – this herb’s flowers give an herbal flavor – sprigs can be used for decorating plates, also great to let flower in the garden for bees.
  5. BEE BALM/Monarda didyma, M. fistulosa, M.citriodora– spicy, sweet flavor, but exceptionally tempting for the bees in the garden.  Leaves are used to make Bergamot tea.