August In The Garden

August

 
August usually brings plenty of opportunity to relax and enjoy the garden, even though we know there are jobs still to be done to keep it looking good.

The most important thing this month is to enjoy your garden; heady scents, glorious colours, an abundance of fruits and vegetables and hopefully more sunshine.

 

 
What could be more enjoyable and satisfying than surveying the results of your hard work throughout the year?

Flower Garden

 

  • Support dahlias
  • Pot up house plant seedlings
  • Take pelargonium cuttings
  • Continue deadheading
  • Cut flowers for indoor display and for drying
  • Deadhead pelargoniums and other summer bedding plants

wisteriacrop

  • Summer prune wisteria, cutting back whippy sideshoots to about 20cm
  • Water plants in pots and baskets
  • Take cuttings from shrubs choosing non-flowering shoots
  • Collect seed from flowers that you want to propagate including aquilegia, polemonium and foxgloves
  • Identify rose problems and pick off diseased leaves
  • Prune philadelphus, weigela and other early summer-flowering shrubs
  • Propagate lily bulbs by taking off a few outer scales and putting them in bags of compost and perlite, or by potting up bulbils formed on their stems
  • Cut back lady’s mantle before it sets seed
  • Prune pleached trees

 

Veggie Garden

 

  • Cut off all the leaves below the first truss of Tomatoes to let the light ripen the fruits, continue to feed them and water them little and often
  • Pinch out growing shoots on pumpkins once they have set 3 or 4 fruits
  • Shake your Sweetcorn plants to help them pollinate
  • Fold over Onion tops if they haven’t done so by themselves. This is to let more light in to the Onion.
  • Plant out Radicchio and Endive seedlings
  • Check sweetcorn to see if it’s ripe and ready to pick. This is when the tassels start to go brown
  • Pick beans and water crops regularly
  • Lift onions once their tops die down
  • Pick plums as they ripen
  • Use netting to protect blackberries, autumn raspberries and other berries from birds
  • Cut out fruited canes of raspberries
  • Pile up the earth around trench varieties of celery for whiter stems
  • Pick early ripening apples
  • Prune blackcurrants after fruiting, removing about a quarter of the oldest stems
  • Transplant well-rooted strawberry runners
  • Keep cutting off runners and diseased leaves from Strawberry plants
  • Prune Blackcurrants by cutting down this year’s fruiting wood
  • Cut Summer Raspberry canes down after fruiting and tie in Autumn Raspberry canes as they grow
  • Water Runner Beans, Celery and Pumpkins if the weather is dry
  • Sow green manures in vacant ground – try Rape or Mustard but remember to dig them in before they start to flower.

 

Greenhouse

  • Buy pansies and other winter bedding plug plants to grow on under cover
  • Damp down the greenhouse floor every morning on hot days
  • Water plants in pots and growing bags every morning, and again at night if necessary
  • Add liquid feed to at least one watering a week to keep plants growing strongly
  • Be vigilant for pests like red spider mite and take action against any right away
  • Buy narcissus, hyacinths and lachenalias to plant for indoor displays
  • Sow poor man’s orchid (schizanthus) to produce flowering houseplants
  • Thin bunches of dessert grapes and spray vines to ward off diseases

Around the Garden

  • Sow green manure crops to fill bare soil
  • Remove pond weeds
  • Hoe and hand weed borders
  • Feed plants such as roses, shrubs and hedges
  • Prepare soil ready for sowing a lawn or laying turf during September and October
  • Send off for mail-order bulb catalogues
  • Treat lawn weeds
  • Remove suckers growing around or on stems of roses, trees and shrubs
  • Trim box topiary and hedging