Monthly Tips for August


  • If you must apply a pesticide, spray during the coolest parts of the day and follow label directions closely.
  • Harvesting fruit before peak ripeness helps minimize problems with yellow jackets and sap beetles. Yellowjacket bottle traps are commercially available and can help reduce their infestation of your fruit.
  • Remove and dispose of all rotted or fallen fruits and foliage from trees, vines, and bushes. This will help reduce the amount of disease innoculum and number of insect pests, especially apple maggot, that over-winter and attack your fruit plants next spring.

Dormant lawnLawn

  • In dry periods grasses go dormant but recover when rain returns. Newly seeded or sodded lawns may actually be dead and will need to be reseeded.
  • Mid-August through mid-October is the best time to start new lawns and renovate or overseed existing lawns. We recommend a turf-type tall fescue cultivar at a rate of 4 lbs. of seed per 1,000 sq. ft. of area for overseeding, or 8 lbs. per 1000 sq. ft. for new lawns.
  • If your lawn area contains more than 50% weeds, consider a total lawn renovation. Newly seeded turf must be watered regularly. See (PDF) HG 102, Lawn Establishment, Renovation, and Overseeding.

Fall webworm

Trees and Shrubs

  • Fall webworm (photo right) is a late summer pest is a 1-2 inch long hairy caterpillar that creates large tent-like nests on the ends of branches of various shade trees and shrubs. It is unsightly but causes little damage. They can be left alone or knocked out of the tree with a broom, by a hard water spray, or pruning them out and disposing of them in the trash.
  • Numerous caterpillars, including leafrollers, orange striped oak worm, green-striped maple worms, oak skeletonizers, and sawflies are feeding on various shade trees. No controls are necessary unless feeding is severe. You may also see some large and unusual caterpillars with various colored spines and knobs that have been feeding in trees and are getting ready to pupate. These are mostly giant silk moths and should be left alone.
  • Bagworms are very noticeable and feeding on many trees and shrubs. They are usually not a problem on deciduous plants but should be controlled on evergreens. It is now too late to spray them with a biological control product. Where possible, remove bagworm bags from evergreen trees and shrubs, especially spruces. Throw them into a bag and place in the trash. Do not just drop them to the ground as they will crawl right back up the plant.

More tips from the Home & Garden Information Center

The Home & Garden Information Center’s horticulturists are available year-round to answer your plant and pest questions. In addition to gardening questions, we cover houseplants, indoor pests, and more. Send your questions and photos to Ask an Expert!

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