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MASTER YOUR GARDEN: Things to do in August

In Week 2 of Smith County Master Gardener Series, we learn how to prevent drought stress, proper watering methods, and the importance of changing your bird feeders

TYLER, Texas — CBS19 is proud to partner with the Smith County Master Gardeners for our new 'Master Your Garden' series. 

In week two, Master Gardener Jolana Damkroger has a list of things for gardeners to do in the month of August.

1. Replenish mulch to prevent drought stress. Damkroger suggests laying down three to four inches of organic mulch to help retain moisture.

"Mulches like pine straw, wood chips, grass clippings or your hardwood mulch" said Damkroger. "It helps lower the temperature of the roots and it also retards any weeds that comes up."

2. Be sure you're properly watering your garden.

"You should not be watering until the early hours of the morning because if you water at night, you're going to wind up with all kinds of fungal problems." said Damkroger. 

She suggests setting your watering schedule to as early as 3 or 4 a.m.

If you're concerned about underwatering or oversaturation, Damkroger suggests leaving out a clean, empty cat food or tuna fish can to gauge how long it takes to gather an inch of water.

"Turn your system on. When the can fills up, you'll know how much time it takes to put an inch of water in your yard," Damkroger said. 

3. Change hummingbird feeder and bird baths often

"This heat is fermenting the nectar and that is not good at all," she said.

She suggests cleaning bird baths and hummingbird feeders frequently. 

4. Start planting for fall

"Right now you need be planting your beans, your cucumbers and your squash." said Damkroger. "You need to be fertilizing your all perennials and trimming back your cannas. 

For those interested in more things to do from Damkroger, the Smith County Master Gardeners guide will go on sale in early September. She will share a new things to do list with us the first Thursday of every month on CBS19. 

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