Summer isn't over yet... August is usually a hot one, and there's plenty to be doing in the garden this month, from watering to trimming lavenders and deadheading flowering plants to encourage new flowers. Read our full list of reminders below put together by our chairman and horticulturist John Richardson:
Trim Lavenders after flowers go over, but don’t cut into last season's wood as this may prevent future re-growth.
Maintain the water level in ponds in order to prevent stress to fish, plants, and other pond life.
Collect and dispose of fallen apples showing signs of Brown Rot, do not compost them.
Keep dead-heading the best flowering plants to encourage new flowers and stop them from setting seeds. Apply a liquid feed as plants will require added nutrition to counter the dry weather and heavy watering.
Always use really sharp secateurs when cutting roses or pruning any plant. Weed between alpines and top up the surface with grit or gravel. Take cuttings of Aubretia, dwarf Helianthemums etc., and root them in a warm propagator.
Do not cut back paeonies which have flowered, just remove dead flower heads, as they need to die back naturally as a part of the ripening process.
Towards the end of the month, cut down the fruited canes of raspberries to ground level, and tie in the young canes which will carry the fruits of next year’s harvest.
Watch out for pests and diseases, warm, dry weather encourages mildew, and aphids can rapidly increase in numbers. Treat with specific garden chemicals.
Damp down greenhouse floors to maintain humidity, and don’t forget to open the vents to improve air circulation. Best to water early morning or late evening, and not in the heat of the sun. Close doors at night by the end of the month as conditions become cooler but be sure to open up again the following morning!
Collect the seed of plants you wish to regenerate again next year. Place a brown paper bag over the seed head and shake out contents as they become free; save the seed in the fridge and sow next spring.
Take cuttings of shrubs, heathers, hydrangeas, and fuchsias.
Container watering will still be a high priority, placing the container in a saucer-shaped dish will be a great help in ensuring that the majority of water you apply remains available to the plant.
Give a final trim to fast growing hedges, and don’t forget to remove the weeds from under hedges.
Finish pruning stone fruits such as cherries and plums by mid-month. Choose a dry day in order to prevent disease entry through the wound. If you have peaches or apricots under protection, prune them now to prevent silver leaf disease.
Best to leave laying or sowing a new lawn until September when the weather is cooler and there is probably more moisture in the ground.
Propagate Rhododendrons by layering a low growing shoot into some prepared compost beneath the bush. The shoot should be non-flowering, de-leafed in the wound area, and either twisted or nicked with a knife to produce a tongue and pinned down into the prepared mound of soil. Cover the whole area with an inch of compost and water thoroughly. Rhodo layers can take 2 years to produce a good new plant.
Remove rose blooms as they fade. Cut roses for display as short as possible. Do not feed in the autumn as soft growth would be encouraged, which could not mature before winter.
Posted 4th Aug 10:34am