August heat may be sapping gardeners’ enthusiasm, but some fresh projects might inspire a new attitude. Beets for greens, Chinese cabbage and lettuce can be sown in August—wait until the 15th to plant lettuce.
If you would like to experiment with a cold frame or greenhouse, late summer is the time to start some plants to grow in it. August is the best month for sowing pansies, forget-me-not and foxglove. These plants need winter protection which a cold frame provides. This is also a good time to take cuttings of many shrubs and geraniums. The geraniums need more warmth during the winter than a cold frame can generate, so perhaps you could invite them into the house. Ready–made cold frames cost $45 to $150 or more, but clear plastic film can be tacked to a wood frame at very small expense. Consider a visit to Second Chance Building Materials on Grove Street or Boise Valley Habitat ReStore at Overland and Five Mile to buy a used window at a reasonable price for a do–it–yourself cold frame.
Promote better blooms and stronger plants by removing withered flowers regularly. Annual flowers will bloom longer with this treatment and perennial flowers will put their energy into growing a thick root instead of maturing seed.
Continue running the lawnmower at the second notch from the top, allowing grass to stay about two inches in height. Water lawns generously, but avoid evening watering if possible because it can promote fungus growth in the turf. If the lawn is showing some bald spots, one can over seed those areas from the middle of August to about the middle of September. Grass seed must touch soil in order to sprout, so rake away any grass clippings before scattering the seed. Then cover the seeds with a very thin coat of grass clippings.

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