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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.