August Garden Tips

Hello Friends, Neighbors, Fellow Gardeners,

It’s August already, and summer has gone by too fast.  There is a lot to do to enjoy summer before the season ends. Here are some garden tips, educational opportunities, and events for August. Events include Brookside Garden’s Wings of Fancy,  Soulful Supper at Harper’s Cabin, Agricultural History Farm Park Open House Thursdays, From Field to Fabric workshop at the Agricultural History Farm Park, Montgomery County Agricultural Fair, Underground Railroad Trail Saturday Guided Hike, Hiking Through History, and more!


  • 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.
  • Take garden photos and make notes in your garden journal.
  • Begin planning for fall plantings.
  • Start collecting plant seeds for next year and for trading.
  • Order spring-flowering bulbs to arrive for planting this fall.
  • Order garlic, onions, and shallots for fall planting.
  • Take advantage of plant sales.
  • Check your local garden center for end-of-summer bargains.
  • Attend a county fair and enter some of your garden bounty.
  • Support our local farmers! Visit a local farmers’ market near you. Download Montgomery County’s Office of Agriculture Farmer’s Market Flyer to find a farmer’s market near you. Or visit the main Montgomery County Farmers Market website. Don’t miss Montgomery County’s Ag Fair August 11–19, 2017!
  • Go on a local house or garden tour to see what plants are thriving in other’s area home gardens: http://www.visitmaryland.org/list/gardens-Maryland

Flowers and Groundcovers:

  • Deadhead spent flowers to encourage reblooming.floral_collage
  • Cut petunia stems back by 2/3rds and fertilize.
  • Divide and cut back Bearded Iris and Peonies.
  • Divide Hostas and Daylilies.
  • Start seeds of pansies, calendula, flowering cabbage, kale, and other fall annuals.
  • Don’t fertilize plants that slow down in the heat, but keep them watered. Fertilize lightly plants that are blooming heavily.
  • Pinch back any leggy Asters or mums.
  • Inspect for powdery mildew. If seen, prune back perennials to create needed circulation.
  • Renew your container plantings, which may be looking a bit ragged at this point.
  • Pests to watch for: aphids, spidermites, whiteflies
  • Diseases to watch for:  Blackspot on roses; powdery mildew, rust, bacterial diseases, fungal leaf spot.
  • See UMD’s HGIC’s August Flower tips for more details.

Trees and Shrubs:

  • Don’t transplant azaleas this month. Avoid late summer pruning.
  • Prune foundation shrubs and trees to be no closer than 1 foot from the house.
  • Prune evergreens to get in shape for fall/winter.
  • Prune and thin shrubs that have already flowered.
  • Water slowly and deeply if summer is very dry.
  • Water newly planted trees and shrubs weekly or as needed.
  • Pests to watch for:  adelgids, aphids, azalea lacebug, bagworms, borers, caterpillars, gypsy moths, Japanese beetles, leafminers, scale, sawfly, spidermites, and webworms.
  • Diseases to watch for: powdery mildew
  • See HGIC’s August Trees and Shrubs Tips for more details.

Herbs, Veggies, and Fruit:

  • The first week in August is the last week recommended to plant beans, peas, and carrots for fall.
  • The third week in August is the last week recommended to plant broccoli and cabbage plants for fall.
  • Buy raspberries and peaches at a local pick-your-own farm or visit a local farmer’s market.
  • Harvest leaves of herbs used in cooking (rosemary, basil, sage) in the early morning for best flavor.
  • Water deeply when needed. Last week to plant sweet corn and cucumbers.
  • Harvest herbs to use in salads and summer dishes.
  • Deadhead garlic chives before they go to seed. Makes a nice cut flower.
  • At the end of the month, begin planting cool-season vegetables  (turnips, carrots, beets, spinach, Chinese cabbage, cauliflower, kale, Brussel sprouts)
  • Preserve gourds and dry flowers for display in the fall.
  • Watch for insect and disease problems throughout your garden.
  • Pests to watch for: asparagus beetle, aphids, cabbage worms, corn earworm, cutworms, and tomato hornworm
  • Diseases to watch for: Fungal, bacterial, viral diseases
  • Here are some more fruit and vegetable gardening tips for August from UMD’s HGIC.


  • Cool season lawns go dormant in hot, dry weather. Do Not Water.
  • Some grasses can still be planted. Over seeding may be done now through October.
  • Keep newly seeded lawns well watered!
  • Water established lawns deeply but infrequently.
  • Mow in the early evening and cut off no more than one-third of the grass height at one time. Leave clippings on the ground to provide nutrients.
  • Apply pre-emergent weed control such as corn gluten.
  • Apply grub control to your lawn.
  • Turn your compost pile weekly and don’t let it dry out. Work compost into your planting beds.
  • Diseases to watch for: 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 overwinter 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 of bright light per day.
  • Remove old leaves, damaged stems.
  • Monitor houseplants that are outside for insect problems.
  • Fertilize houseplants now that they are actively growing again.
  • Repot root-bound houseplants and start fertilizing them.
  • Pests to watch for:  aphids, mealybugspider mites,  whitefly and scale.
  • See HGIC’s August Houseplants Tips for more tips.

Indoor/Outdoor Insect and Wildlife Tips:

  • Change the water of your birdbath daily and throw a Mosquito Dunk (or bits) into any standing water.
  • Clean your hummingbird feeders and add new sugar-water every three days.
  • Check for mosquito breeding grounds. Dump out any water that sits stagnant for more than three days.
  • Switch your deer deterrent spray.
  • See HGIC’s August Insect Tips for more details.
  • Watch for: carpenter ants, flies, stink bugs, termites, rabbits, raccoons, 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.

Please Support the Mill Creek Towne Garden Club

Hello Friends, Neighbors,

Please support the Mill Creek Towne Garden Club! Your donations will help us continue to provide garden-related programs to the community and pay for maintaining and landscaping the Mill Creek Towne main entrances. donate-today-button


We accept donations throughout the year. Thanks to all of you that have recently donated as well as those of you who have supported us in the past years! Thanks for your continued support of the Mill Creek Towne Garden Club and our community programs!

Mill Creek Towne Garden Club – Derwood, Maryland
https://www.mctgardenclub.org | info@mctgardenclub.org | Like us on Facebook


See below for upcoming local events in August.


Montgomery Parks Special Events & Festivals

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

Save the dates for these upcoming Summer events!   Events include Brookside Garden’s Wings of Fancy,  Soulful Supper at Harper’s Cabin, Agricultural History Farm Park Open House Thursdays, From Field to Fabric workshop at the Agricultural History Farm Park, Montgomery County Agricultural Fair, UGRR Trail Saturday Guided Hike, Hiking Through History, and more!

Master Gardener Plant Clinics

Varied Locations, dates, and times

What can Master Gardeners do for you?Montgomery County Master Gardeners logo

  • Help you select and care for annual and perennial plants, shrubs and trees.
  • Determine if you need to test your soil.
  • Provide you with information on lawn care.
  • Identify weeds, beneficial and noxious insects, and plant diseases and remedies.
  • Teach you how to use pesticides, mulch and compost.
  • Guide you in pruning trees and shrubs.
  • Provide you with options for managing wildlife.
  • Provide you with gardening resources.
  • Help you submit a plant sample for diagnosis

Plant Clinics are held at several sites in the county on a weekly basis and at special events such as garden festivals and the county fair. Regularly scheduled Plant Clinics are located at public libraries and farmers’ markets throughout the county as well as at the Audubon Naturalist Society in Chevy Chase.  There are also clinics three days per week at Brookside Gardens.  The busiest season is April through September, but some clinics are open year-round.  Bring your plant samples and questions to one of these locations in Montgomery County, MD (see link below to find a location near you):


Wings of Fancy

Wednesday, April 26 to Sunday, September 17 | 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. daily
Brookside Gardens South Conservatory, Wheaton
$8 ages 13+; $5 ages 3-12; Free ages 0-2butterfly-wof-right

The seasonal display features hundreds of live butterflies from all over the world. Families, students, nature lovers, and everyone in between can get an up close experience of these brilliant butterflies from North America, Costa Rica, Africa and Asia as they soar among colorful flowers. Visitors can learn about their amazing metamorphosis, the important role butterflies play in having healthy ecosystems, and how to ensure these beautiful insects thrive in our own gardens.

More Info


Soulful Supper at Harper’s Cabin!

Sunday, June 11 through August 20wheaton-regional-park-harpers_cabin
10:00 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Brookside Nature Center, Wheaton

Join us for a taste of African American Heritage as we learn about the history of the Harper’s Cabin. Observe and help with hearthside cooking techniques while learning the history, nutrition and rich culture of African-American foods. Learn how soul food became a dominant theme among African American Family, their church and social gatherings during the 19th century and extending to the end of the 20th century. The program begins with preparing the food and continues until a tasty supper is ready for serving.


Agricultural History Farm Park Open House Thursdays

12:00pm – 4:00pm | June 29th, 2017 to August 17th, 2017

Agricultural History Farm ParkAg_Farm_goats
18400 Muncaster Road
Derwood, MD  20855
Phone: 301-650-4373

Visit the Agricultural History Farm Park Thursdays through the summer. Explore the historic farmhouse; help with seasonal chores such as planting, weeding, and harvesting in the World War I Victory Garden;  visit with the farm animals; and meet costumed living history interpreters who will tell you all about farm life in Montgomery County in 1917!

From Field to Fabric

Sat. August 5th, 2017
Agricultural-History-Farm_park_2016_AV_160803_803326110:00am to 12:00pm

18400 Muncaster Road
Derwood, MD  20855
Phone: 301-650-4373

In this hands-on workshop, learn to identify common fabrics from various time periods, how materials were processed, and how they were dyed. Try your hand at breaking and combing flax for linen, carding and spinning wool, and using elements found in nature to make dyes and stains.

Intended for ages All Ages

This event will be held at Agricultural History Farm Park


Montgomery County Agricultural Fair

August 11 – August 19, 2017montgomery-ag-fair_aug2017

Montgomery County Ag Fair, MD

501 Perry Pkwy, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20877

The showcase for Agriculture and Family Fun in Montgomery County, MD! August 11th – 19th, 2017. www.mcagfair.com

Fair Hours:
Friday, August 11th: 3 p.m. – 12 midnight
Saturday, August 12th – Saturday, August 19th: 10 a.m. – 12 midnight

Carnival Hours:
Friday, August 11th: 3 p.m. – 12 midnight
Saturday, August 12th – Saturday, August 19th: 12 noon – 12 midnight

Free shuttle busses run from Lakeforest Mall beginning August 11th, 11:30 a.m. – midnight and August 12th – 19, 8 a.m. – 12midnight.

Animal exhibits open on Sunday, August 13th at 12noon through the end of Fair.

Montgomery County Master Gardeners at Montgomery County Ag Fairmaster_gardeners_ag_fair

August 11 – August 19, 2017

Montgomery County Ag Fair, MD

501 Perry Pkwy
Gaithersburg, Maryland 20877

Have gardening questions? Bring your questions and talk with experienced University of MD trained, Master Gardeners! Located between Chilly Mall and Old MacDonald’s Barn.

UGRR Trail Saturday Guided Hike

Sat. August 12th, 2017

9:30am to 12:00pm

16501 Norwood Road
Sandy Spring, MD 20860

This photo of Underground Railroad Experience Trail Hikes is courtesy of TripAdvisor


Guided hikes last approximately 2.5 hours and are provided by talented “conductors” who lead groups on a simulated Underground Railroad experience covering 2.0 miles from Woodlawn Manor Cultural Park along a wooded, natural surface trail to the historic Sandy Spring, then back to experience the new Woodlawn Museum and Visitor Center. Hikers learn about various techniques that “freedom seekers” used to elude trackers, find food, and navigate their way North to freedom. Interpretive content best suited for children 7 and up.

Intended for ages 7 & up

Fee:  $8


This event will be held at Woodlawn Manor Cultural Park


Hiking Through History

Wed. August 16th, 2017
9:00pm to 11:00pm

Agricultural History Farm Parkmontgomery-county-trail-maps
18400 Muncaster Road
Derwood, MD  20855

Each hike will feature a different theme and showcase an aspect of the landscape of the Agricultural History Farm Park. Join historians, archaeologists, master gardeners, farmers, and naturalists to discover all the different facets of the 500- acre park. Hikes are for all ages and will involve easy to moderate terrain. Please wear sturdy, closed toed shoes or hiking boots, dress comfortably, and anticipate occasional mud puddles! Please call up to two weeks ahead for specific hike themes. Contact Lisa Berray, Manager of Interpretation and Visitor Services with questions at 301-467-8273.

Intended for ages All Ages

Fee: $5


World War I Ragtime Dance

Sat. August 26th, 2017
5:00pm to 9:00pmragtime_dance

Agricultural History Farm Park
18400 Muncaster Road
Derwood, MD  20855
Phone: 301-650-4373

FREE EVENT. NO REGISTRATION REQUIRED. Join us for our popular music series and experience the swinging hot sounds of pre-World War II jazz. Bring your family, friends, a picnic dinner, your dancing shoes and experience the fun of the Farm as the sun sets over the fields! Historic children’s games, friendly farm animals, and s’mores around the campfire make this the perfect summer evening for everyone! Free.

Intended for ages All Ages

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