The August Garden Guide
August is the last full month of summer and one of the warmest of the year.
As well as continuing with some of July’s tasks, you will need to address other areas of your garden too.
Here are our top 10 tips to help you make the most of your August garden and to ensure you retain plenty of interest as we move into autumn.
Top 10 August Gardening Tips
1. Water Plants
Fruit, vegetables and greenhouse plants, in particular, need watering daily.
When watering container plants, ensure you thoroughly wet the soil and not just the foliage.
Camellias and rhododendrons should be watered so that next year’s buds develop properly.
2. Prune Wisteria and Summer-Flowering Shrubs
If you didn’t last month, now is the time to prune your wisteria for the final time of the year.
Cut back any long growth to within 10cm of the main stems.
This will enhance your wisteria’s appearance, reduce the risk of disease and concentrate energy in the main part of the plant.
3. Deadhead Plants Regularly
Whether in containers, baskets, beds or borders, fading blooms should be nipped off to divert all of the plants’ energies into growth and producing further blooms.
Also, cut back herbs in order to enjoy further tasty leaves before the frosts set in.
4. Careful Weeding
You’ll need to keep on top of weeds to prevent them from flowering and seeding.
When disposing of weeds that have already produced seeds, be careful not to accidentally spread those seeds around other areas of your garden.
5. Harvest Vegetables
Runner beans can be harvested daily and are perfectly suited to freezing.
Sweetcorn should be fed and watered regularly and harvested as it becomes ready.
Pick aubergines whilst they’re still young and shiny. Spring-sown carrots, beetroot and potatoes should all be ready to harvest too.
6. Feed Fruit
Feed tomatoes and cucumbers every week with a high-potash fertiliser.
Lift and pot-up rooted strawberry runners and cut-back fruited summer raspberry canes to ground level before tying-in next year’s canes to supports.
7. Collect Seeds and Take Cuttings
This can be a simple, cost-effective way to increase the number of flowers in your garden.
Place a paper bag over the seed heads of any favourite plants, cut the stem and turn the plant upside down.
Once the seeds have fallen into the bag, be sure to label it and store in a dark, dry place until it's time to sow.
8. Sow for Autumn and Winter
Sow winter-flowering pansies for a splash of colour in the colder months and hardy annual seeds, such as poppies and cornflowers, ready for early next year.
Continue to sow salad leaves, as well as cauliflower and radishes, for an autumn harvest.
9. Prepare to Lay Turf
Although it’s still too hot to lay new turf, now is the ideal time to prepare the soil.
Make removing stones and debris a weekly task until autumn.
This type of preparation takes you one step closer to achieving a first-class lawn.
10. Be Water-Wise
Top-up bird baths, ponds and other water features, when required, in order to keep them looking attractive and healthy for wildlife.
As mentioned in earlier guides, a water butt is a wise investment, particularly if we experience a prolonged dry spell.