Leach Salts from Containers
Mineral salts can build up in the soil of potted plants, inhibiting root growth and leaving white, crusty deposits on container sides. Occasionally leach the soil by soaking the pots until the soil is completely saturated, then allowing fresh water to run through the soil for several minutes to flush out the salts.
Avoid Pest Problems
Employ cultural practices to avoid insect and disease problems in the garden. Keep weeds pulled, and pinch plants back to improve air circulation. Allow foliage to dry out by evening so diseases are less likely to start. Hand pick insects and avoid chemical sprays whenever possible since they kill beneficial insects as well as destructive pests.
Replace Spent Annuals
When summer annuals, such as marigolds, nicotiana, and petunias, stop blooming, remove them and mulch the area to discourage weeds. Amend the soil with compost and sow seeds of colorful cool-season annuals, such as pansies, lobelia, and winter kale.
Irrigate newly planted ornamentals when rainfall totals less than 1 inch per week. Apply water on poorly drained soils at the rate of 1 quart per square foot of planting area. On well-drained soils, use one-half gallon of water per square foot, letting it soak deeply into the soil.
August begins the harvest season for many fruits, especially red and black raspberries, early apples, and gooseberries. Harvest fruits as they mature so the birds don't get them. If you can't eat them all fresh, consider making pies or cobblers, or freezing the bounty for winter use.