There are always things to do in the garden whether it is planting, pruning or watering. So we have highlighted some what to do in the garden in august guidance to help you.
In the flower garden
- Dead-head lilies for a better flower display next year.
- Mow meadows now to help scatter wild flower seeds.
- Stake tall or top heavy dahlias and lilies to prevent wind and rain damage.
- Trim your lavender plants after they’ve finished flowering to keep them compact.
- Prune summer flowering shrubs once they have finished blooming.
- Collect ripened seed and store for next year. Leaving some seed heads in place can be attractive and allows the plant to self-seed in the surrounding soil.
- Prune climbing plants such as roses and rambling roses once they’ve finished flowering (unless they are repeat-flowerers in which case leave them).
- Take cuttings of your favourite tender perennials such as pelargoniums and fuchsias to propagate them for next year.
- Look out for symptoms of Clematis Wilt such as wilting leaves and black discolouration on the leaves and stems of your Clematis. Cut out any infected plant material and dispose of it in your household waste.
In the vegetable garden
- Pinch out the top of tomato plants to concentrate the growth into the fruit that has already formed. Aim to leave 5 or 6 trusses of fruit per plant.
- Water your vegetable plants and fruit plants daily in warm weather.
- Continue to harvest second early potatoes now – perfect for salads!
- Start harvesting your maincrop potatoes as the leaves yellow and die back. Try storing your potatoes in hessian sacks which exclude light but allow adequate ventilation.
- Harvest French and runner beans little and often to prevent them from setting seed.
- On a dry sunny day, collect seeds of herbs such as dill, fennel, caraway and chervil and dry in a warm spot out of direct sunlight. Chervil must be sown immediately.
- Keep on top of weeds as they compete with your crops for nutrients and water.
In the fruit garden
- If you have plants fruiting in containers, make sure you give them a high potash liquid feed to keep plants healthy and productive.
- Remember to feed your lemon tree (and other citrus fruit trees) throughout summer with a special citrus fertiliser.
- Plant out any rooted runners of strawberries for a good crop next year.
- Keep birds and squirrels off your berries with netting or old net curtains.
- Protect your crops with a bird scarer made from CDs tied to strings.
- Harvest your fruit trees – cherries, plums, peaches, nectarines and apricots should all be ripe now! Early varieties of apple trees will be ready towards the end of the month.
- If you have a glut of autumn raspberries, blackberries or loganberries, freeze them on trays for a couple of hours and then bag them up to use over winter.
Other jobs in the garden
- Hedges can be given a final trim now before they stop growing.
- Water plants thoroughly when needed instead of every day. Thorough watering supports plants for up 14 days, while merely wetting the surface wastes water, encourages weeds and can lead to surface rooting making the plants more vulnerable.
- Use water butts as much as you can to water your plants.
- Recycle your water – collect washing up water in a bucket outside for watering beds and lawns
- Turn the compost in your compost bins every month to keep it well aerated and to speed up decomposition.
- Keep bird baths topped up in hot weather.
- If your plants are wilting check for vine weevils by tipping your plants out of their pots and looking for ‘C’ shaped creamy maggots amongst the roots. Treat with nematodes if vine weevils are spotted.
- Prevent slugs attacking your young plants by using nemaslug.
- Use boiling water as a weed killer on your paved areas. Weeds wilt and die within a few days.
For our full what to plant in august guide click here.
Terri works in the e-commerce marketing department assisting the busy web team. Terri manages our blog and social media pages here at Thompson & Morgan and is dedicated to providing useful advice to our gardeners. Terri is new to gardening and keen to develop her horticultural knowledge.