Garden tips for August
If you’re heading on holiday this month, you may need to get a helping hand to keep your garden looking lush.
Keep container plants well watered.
Deadhead Lilies now for a better display next year.
Weed beds and borders, removing overgrown weeds that are threatening to shed seeds.
Prune Wisteria and climbing shrubs. Regular pruning will keep the growth and size under control, but it will also improve the flowering display.
Don’t cut off the flower heads of ornamental grasses. These will provide winter interest.
Hanging baskets– continue deadheading, watering and feeding to help them last through until autumn.
Alpines that have bare patches of dieback can be tidied up by in-filling the patches with gritty compost. This will encourage new growth and improve their appearance.
Hebes and lavenders can be given a light prune after flowering.
Water thoroughly drought-stressed plants and shrubs, especially newly planted ones. Use grey, recycled or stored rainwater wherever possible.
In the vegetable garden
Harvest vegetables when they are ripe and freeze or dry what you can’t immediately use.
Continue to harvest Broad, French and Runner beans, and Courgettes.
Main crop potatoes can be harvested once they have fully flowered. Store somewhere dry and dark. Use hessian sacks for storage as they exclude light and allow adequate ventilation.
Lift and dry onions, shallots and garlic once the foliage has drooped over and yellowed. Store them in onion bags to prevent mould developing.
In the fruit garden
Harvest blackberries, peaches, nectarines, apricots and the last of the summer raspberries.
If you have a glut of autumn raspberries, blackberries or loganberries, freeze them on trays and then bag them up to use over winter.
Keep fruit well watered during dry spells and weeds under control by hoeing.
The runners of new strawberry plants should be secured into pots of compost or soil allowing them to root.
Tidy up strawberry plants and remove any old straw from around the plants to improve ventilation and reduce the risk of pests and diseases.
Prune the fruited stems of your blackcurrant bushes after harvesting.
Cut back the fruited canes of your summer raspberries, leaving the new green canes for next year’s crop
In the greenhouse
Damp down greenhouses on hot days to maintain humidity levels.
Ventilate greenhouses to their maximum to prevent soaring temperatures. Use shading if necessary.
Clean up fallen leaves and spilt compost from benches and floors to prevent pests and diseases from spreading.
Wildlife and ponds
Where necessary cut back, remove faded flowers and damaged leaves from aquatic and marginal plants.
Clearing out fallen leaves and debris regularly will help to keep down algae growth.
Continue to remove blanket weed and duckweed using a net or rake.
Allow some flowering and vegetable plants to run to seed to provide food for birds and other wildlife.
Top up birdbaths regularly to ensure there is always a fresh supply of water.
Looking after your lawn
Raise the blades on the mower before cutting fine lawns. This will help reduce drought stress.
Browning of lawns is common at this time of year. Don’t water the grass unless absolutely necessary. They will green up when the autumn rains arrive.