In addition to the usual garden-keeping chores… hoeing, watering, spray-ing and dusting-there are several transplanting jobs that can be done advantageously during August.

The lily is one perennial that can be transplanted now after its foliage has died. If you are planning to buy some lilies, get after your supplier right now so that you will have the bulbs in plenty of time for planting.

Madonna lilies should have ample time to make new roots and the, characteristic basal rosette of foliage before their growth is stopped by cold weather. Lilies prefer not to be disturbed, but if you have a clump which is so crowded that its size and blooming quality are on the downgrade, now is the time to amend matters. When digging lily bulbs, get as many roots as possible; separate the bulbs and plant them immediately, taking care to set them so that the tops of the bulbs are no more than 2 inches below the surface.

Transplanting the Oriental poppy, Virginia cowslip and iris… When trans-planting Oriental poppies, dig down deeply (about 18 inches) to get as many of the roots as possible. Those left behind may start to grow and cause embarrassment.

The Virginia cowslip, which resents transplanting during the normal planting seasons, spring and fall, can be moved during August. Continue planting the bearded iris. If you can get bulbs of crown imperial (fritillaria) now, plant them immediately. They suffer when they are kept too long out of the ground.

Late-season chores in the eating garden… Rooted strawberry runners that were started in pots should be planted as soon as they become available. They will bear next year.

Over most of our area it is not too late to produce a crop of snap beans before frost; choose a quick-maturing variety. Devotees of “rabbit food” can sow seeds of lettuce and later can eat the seedlings that are thinned out. Lettuce will endure light frosts and, if sown in a coldframe, can be expected to continue to produce greens well into the month of November.

Moving evergreens… Toward the end of the month foliage of evergreens will have hardened sufficiently to permit transplanting. The advantage of early planting is that root growth starts right away because the soil is warm; then the evergreen will be able to withstand the rigors of winter.

Taking cuttings of tender bedding plants and cleaning house plants… Cuttings of tender bedding plants including blood-leaf (iresine) and alternanthera, and house plants such as pelargonium (house geranium) and patience plant or sultana (impatiens) can be inserted now in a mixture of equal parts by bulk of sand, peatmoss and garden soil. These will grow along and make better plants for storing indoors than the old plants which must be cut back and which then will take an unusually long time to recover.

Sowing pansies… Pansies can be started now, and, if growing conditions are favorable and the plants can be transplanted to a coldframe before frost, you may have some flowers to grace the Thanksgiving table.

Two last-minute chores-Have you ordered your bulbs yet? If not, you had better get busy! Toward the end of the month, if the weather is suitable, prepare the ground for the starting of a new lawn.

The timing of these jobs is dependent largely on the weather, unless an ample supply of water is on tap to be applied where it will do the most good.

Now is the perfect time to uncover more about cleaning house plants. Ready for a better understanding? Visit

New Castle Colorado from The California Zephyr
Surrounded by rugged, natural, Colorado beauty, it’s easy to see why early Anglo settlers chose New
Castle. Prospectors and miners arrived in the early 1880s leading to the discovery of rich coal veins.
The founding father of New Castle was Jasper Ward, a freight supplier, farmer and one of the town’s first Anglo settlers. Ward and his family built a one-room, dirt-floor cabin along the west bank of Elk Creek. The cabin became the town’s first post office and Ward the first postmaster. The Ute Indian Chief Colorow was a friend who often visited the cabin. More from source
Photo Taken from the California Zephyr
This Image also appears in ‘Amtrak train Routes’

By Loco Steve on 2010-10-04 12:32:57
tags[wpr5-amazon asin=”B06XCW5BG5″ region=”com”]

How to Restore a Green, Healthy Lawn

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Ask This Old House landscaping contractor Roger Cook heads to Kentucky to help a homeowner revive his lawn

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Time: 3-4 hours

Cost: $100-200

Skill Level: Moderate

Tools List for Restoring a Green, Healthy Lawn:
BroadcastLawn spreader

Shopping List:
Dethatcher (Rental at local home center)
Aerator (Rental at local home center)
Lawn Fertilizer
Grass Seed
Gas for machines

1. To remove the layer of thatch that blocks water and nutrients from reaching the roots of the lawn, use a dethatcher to clean up the grass. This machine works using large tines and prongs to pull up dead grass and other debris from the grass roots. Go across the lawn in a straight line and turn and repeat.
2. Use a rake to gather all of the debris from the detatching step into piles and recycle or compost it.
3. To fight soil compaction and allow water and nutrients to reach the roots, use the aerator. It will remove plugs of soil about 2” long. Go across the lawn in a straight line and turn and repeat.
4. Before applying any nutrients to the lawn, conduct a soil test to determine any deficiencies in soil health.
5. On acidic soils (with a lower pH), use a broadcast spreader to apply lime. A lime mixture typically contains calcium and magnesium to bring up the pH of the soil.
6. Spread compost across the lawn using a rake, making sure to fill in the holes made by the aerator. This will provide nutrients for the soil and create a good seed bed.
7. The soil test will also determine the best fertilizer mix to choose. Use a broadcast spreader to put down fertilizer, following directions on the packaging.
8. Use the lawn spreader to put down a healthy layer of seed. The weather zone should help dictate what kind of seed to use. A tall fescue is best for sunny, southern climates and is more drought resistant. For northern climates, a fine fescue may be a better option. It can stay green all year, if maintained properly.
9. Use a hose and sprayer to coat the top of the soil and the seed. It’s important to keep the top of the soil moist by watering two to three times for the first two weeks.
10. When the lawn gets up to three inches tall, cut it down to two inches. However, be sure to bag the clippings and not mulch.
11. Mow regularly after to maintain a healthy look.

To remove the layer of thatch that blocks water and nutrients from reaching the roots of the lawn, Roger dethatched the area using a Mataway Dethatcher, manufactured by Ryan Turf ( This can be rented from a tool rental shop or home center.

After this, he aerated the lawn to fight soil compaction and allow water and nutrients to reach the roots. For this step, Roger used a Lawnaire IV Aerator Walk-Behind, also manufactured by Ryan Turf and available to rent from a tool rental shop or home center.

Based on the results of a soil test, Roger determined that lime needed to be added to raise the pH of the lawn. Lime can be purchased from a garden center or home center and it can be spread using a broadcast spreader set to the manufacturer’s specifications.

Roger then added compost for nutrients and to act as a seed bed. Compost can be purchased from garden centers or landscape suppliers.

The soil test also determined that this lawn was low in nitrogen, so Roger added a fertilizer that has a higher nitrogen proportion. Fertilizers like this can be purchased at home centers.
Based on site conditions and sun exposure, Roger selected a seed mix with a few varieties of fescue and a little bit of bluegrass. The seed was also spread with a broadcast spreader, following the directions on the seed mix bag. Lawn seed can be purchased at home centers and garden centers.

For the grass seed to properly germinate, it needs to be watered several times a day until the lawn is established.

Expert assistance for this project was provided by One Guy and a Lawnmower (

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