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Gardening in August

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Gardening in August, butterfly garden

August is the peak of summer making it one of the hottest months. While gardening in August, watering in the garden is a top priority. Using grey water or rainwater from a water butt is not only good for water conservation but also much better for plants. With holiday season in full swing, August is a good opportunity to sit back and relax, enjoying the glorious delights of the garden. 

What to do now 

August is a busy time for gardeners.  With the hot summer weather beating down on the garden, watering and maintenance are essential jobs.  Watering potted plants and vegetable patches along with keeping ponds and bird baths topped up with water.  Pruning, weeding and harvesting summer fruits and vegetables. 

Lawn maintenance 

  • Raise mower blades to help maintain moisture in the soil. 
  • Water lawns once a week to preserve water reserves. 
  • Lawns are prone to browning during summer but will green up again in Autumn. 
  • Mow summer meadows when the wildflowers have died back. 
  • Prepare areas which are due to be re-seeded or turfed in the Autumn. 
Garden lawn maintenance

Water lawns less frequently but deeply during august.  If you live in an area with water restrictions, there are ways to keep your lawn healthy.  Grass goes into a dormant state during times of drought and bounces back to life when the autumn rains come.  If you don’t mind a slightly messy lawn, allow the grass to grow taller.  Taller grass keeps the roots cool and helps to retain moisture in the soil.  With this method, your lawn can be reduced to watering once a month. 

Beds and borders 

  • Deadhead perennials and shrub to reduce the chance of plants going to seed and encourage further flowering. 
  • Spring flowering perennials can be divided and transplanted. 
  • Prune and deadhead roses, removing damaged stems and stems infected with black spot. 
  • Prune Wisteria. 
  • Collect seeds from plants and flowers for next year. 
  • Water beds, containers and particularly hanging baskets. 
Gardening in August, Geraniums

The flower garden still needs some love and attention while enjoying the hot summer days of August.  Take some time to deadhead and water hanging baskets to keep them healthy and beautiful throughout the season.  Prune and deadhead perennials to encourage flowering and prolong the colourful display in the garden.  While gardening in August, collect and store seeds ready for potting up next year.  Take cuttings, propagate and divide spring perennials like carnations and irises.  Winter bulbs like cyclamen and hyacinths can be encourage back into growing now ready for the winter garden. 

Vegetable garden 

  • Harvest sweetcorn. 
  • Pinch out the tips of tomato plants and runner beans. 
  • Potatoes are ready to harvest now. 
  • Carrots and beetroot can be pulled out now or left to grow larger. 
  • Harvest French and runner beans. 
  • Lift out onions, shallots and garlic. 
  • Take cuttings from herbs and pot up ready for next year. 
  • Protect brassica from cabbage white butterflies. 
  • Fruit trees and berries are all ready for harvesting now. 

Pinch out the tips of tomato plants and runner beans to encourage the plant to put its energy into growing more crops.  Spring grown carrots, beetroot and parsnips can be harvested now or left in the ground to grow larger for winter storage.  Protect brassica from cabbage white butterflies, covering the crops with insect-proof netting. 

Weeds and pests 

  • Keep on top of weeding, pulling up new shoots. 
  • Check for aphids, vine weevils and cabbage white eggs and caterpillars. 
  • Clean away fallen leaves to prevent disease and hiding places for slugs and snails. 

Damp down greenhouses and ventilate throughout the day.  Keep ponds topped up with water and remove blanket weed.  Continue to provide birds and wildlife with fresh water daily during the dry hot summer months when gardening in August or just sitting back and relaxing in own oasis of paradise. 

Happy pottering. 

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