GARDENING GUIDE AUGUST
Care & advice for your August garden
The garden is in full bloom, now is the time to enjoy your garden.
Long, lazy summer days, the garden in full bloom, holidays with the kids and splashing about in paddling pools – we’re into the high point of summer, August.
Now’s the time to really enjoy your garden!
Late summer-flowering plants are looking fantastic now, with pollinator favourites like dahlias, rudbeckias and buddlejas at their best. In the vegetable garden, crops are ripening everywhere you look, fruit trees are ready for picking and it’s time to start thinking about winter sowings. Keep on top of the weeding and watering, and remember to keep ponds and bird baths topped up for thirsty wildlife!
Here’s a guide to what to do in the garden in August so that you’re ready for the busy autumn period.
Essential Jobs for August
✔ Plan ahead for next year by sowing hardy annuals, and pull up those that have finished blooming
✔ Keep a close eye on aphids on crops, like runner beans & wipe them off before they become a problem.
✔ Use netting to protect soft fruit from birds.
✔ In dry summers, mow the lawn less often and use a high blade setting to avoid stressing the grass.
✔ Stay on top of the watering, especially for pots and hanging baskets, as they dry out very quickly in hot dry weather. Water in the early morning or evening to minimise evaporation loss
✔ Check hedges before trimming them, as birds may still be nesting.
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Flower Beds & Borders
✔ It’s time to start planting autumn bulbs like nerines and colchicums for a last splash of colour.
✔ It’s also a good time to start choosing and ordering next year’s spring bulbs.
✔ Sow hardy annuals like Nigella, Californian poppy and Calendula directly into the soil towards the end of the month – they’re tough enough to survive winter and will flower earlier than those sown next spring.
✔ If you have a wildflower lawn, mow it this month. Leave the cut material on the ground for a few days before composting so that annual plants can drop their seeds for next year’s plants
✔ Lavender can now be trimmed back to give it a good shape, but don’t cut into the old wood.
✔ Feed late-flowering plants such as asters and gladioli to give them a boost.
Vegetables & Fruits
✔ Keep harvesting beans, carrots, courgettes, potatoes, onions and fruit.
✔ Check sweetcorn for ripeness by piercing a kernel with your thumbnail. If it produces a milky liquid, the cobs are ready to harvest. Only pick as you need them – they taste best eaten straight away!
✔ Feed tomatoes fortnightly. Pinch out Cordon varieties side shoots.
Try 'Marshalls Liquid Tomato Feed' for juicier and tastier tomatoes.
✔ Watch out for cabbage white butterfly – check the leaves of brassicas like cabbage and kale and remove any eggs and caterpillars.
✔ Plant out kale and winter cabbage seedlings, and sow chard and winter-hardy spring onions.