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August gardening

August gardening

Holiday season is here and gardens are hot, hot hot! If you’re going away on holiday remember to ask a friend or family member to water the garden for you or consider buying a timer-controlled watering system. Gardens can wilt quickly at this time of year and need constant attention. Most importantly enjoy your garden in this beautiful summer month if you are staying at home.

ESSENTIAL GARDENING JOBS…

  • Prune wisteria
  • Prune roses
  • Plant Madonna Lily
  • Deadhead flowers
  • Prune summer-fruiting raspberries, blackberries and hybrid berries
  • Lift garlic and shallots
  • Divide congested clumps of chives

LAST CHANCE TO…

  • Harvest the last of the peas and beans
  • Take cuttings of tender plants

Prune wisteria

The growth from the wisteria plants this year should either be tied into the support to cover new areas or cut back to two or three buds from the old wood. This should keep them in shape.

Take cuttings of tender plants

If you would like to keep any half-hardy plants for next year, August is the time to take cuttings. Perennials such as Verbenas, Fuchsias and Pelargoniums are good plants to take cuttings from. Once you have taken the cutting, dip into a hormone rooting compound before inserting them into small pots. Fill these small posts with half peat and half perlite. Water in well and ensure to keep the cuttings in a warm place but out of direct sunlight. Within 8 weeks the cuttings should have rooted.

Prune roses

Rambler roses that have finished flowering can be pruned now. Cut the long old stems that flowered this year, but leave non-flowering shoots as these will bloom next year.

Plant Madonna Lily

If you want to grow this temperamental flower, August is the best time for it. They prefer lime-based  soil and should be planted no more than 5cm deep.

Deadhead flowers

Keep your garden full of colourful flowers for longer by removing flowers as soon as they fade. This helps the plant to make new blooms, instead of putting its energy into seed production.

KITCHEN GARDEN

Prune summer-fruiting raspberries, blackberries and hybrid berries

Cut back the canes that have already fruited to ground level. This creates space for the green canes that will fruit next year. Tie in the new growth to the support.

Harvest the last of the peas and beans

August will probably be the last month of picking peas and beans. Keep picking them until no more pods are produced. Once they have all been picked cut off the top growth, leaving the roots in the ground. This is because the nitrogen fixing nodules on the roots will rot. This will benefit the following crop.

Lift garlic and shallots

Once the tops of the garlic and shallots have died off, expose the bulbs to sunlight by removing the soil from around them. This will help to ripen them. As soon as the tops have dried off, lift the bulbs and leave them to dry for storage.

Divide congested clumps of chives

If you have any congested clumps of chives, now is a good time to divide them up into smaller clumps. Dig the bulbs up and divide them into smaller clumps of about 5 or 6 bulbs. This will give them more space to grow.

LAWNS

With the hot weather you may see your lawn turn brown. Don’t worry – it will recover as soon as the autumn rains return. To keep your lawn looking as healthy as possible follow these top tips:

  • Cut the lawn at least once a week
  • Leave grass clippings on the lawn as they will act as a mulch
  • Remove obvious weeds as these will be competing for light, water and nutrients.
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