Jobs For August
Jobs for August
(Keep the garden going!)
August is usually one of the hottest months of the year - making watering essential. Try to use grey water wherever possible, especially as water butts may be running low if it has been a dry summer. August is traditionally holiday-time, so you might need to enlist the help of friends and family to look after the garden while you are away. When you are at home, take the time to prune summer-flowering shrubs.
To Do List - August
- Keep patio container plants well watered and feed with a liquid fertiliser every fortnight.
- Stake tall or top heavy Dahlias and Lilies to prevent wind and rain damage.
- Dead-head bedding plants and perennial plants to stop them self-seeding and to encourage further flowering into the autumn.
- Dead-head Lilies for a better flower display next year.
- As your Penstemon flowers fade, cut them back to just above a leaf to encourage more flowers.
- Cut back herbs now to encourage a new flush of tasty leaves you can harvest before the frost.
- Prune summer flowering shrubs once they have finished flowering.
- Cut back faded perennials to keep borders tidy.
- Keep your Camellias and Rhododendrons well watered at this time of year to ensure that next year's buds develop well.
- Continue to feed tomato plants with a tomato fertiliser and remove leaves lower down on the plant to help with air circulation and prevent disease.
- Apply a high-potash fertiliser such as tomato food once fruits start to form on peppers, cucumber and aubergines.
- Cut back herbs now to encourage a new flush of tasty leaves that you can harvest before the frost. Dry or freeze your herbs to use in the kitchen later on.
- Pinch out the tips of your runner bean plants once they reach the top of their support. This encourages side-shooting and more beans at a manageable height for picking.
- Continue to harvest second early potatoes now - perfect for salads!
- Pick runner beans regularly to prevent them becoming stringy and to make room for developing pods. Leaving mature pods to set seed can prevent further flowers developing and reduce your crop.
- 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.
- Remember to feed your lemon tree (and other citrus fruit trees) throughout summer with a special citrus fertiliser.
- Cut back the fruited canes of your summer raspberries, leaving the new green canes for next year's crop. - Tie in next year's raspberry canes to support wires or fencing.
- Tidy up strawberry plants and remove any old straw from around the plants to improve ventilation and reduce the risk of pests and diseases.