Keep the garden looking good in August
There are lots of jobs to do in the garden in August – if we can dodge the showers! Pruning, deadheading and feeding are a regular jobs this month and it really is worth spending the time to do them. You can prolong the season well into September if you take action now!
Agapanthus make ideal container plants for a sunny position and at time of the year they should be in full flower, producing tall stems of blue or white flowers. To keep the plant flowering and to help the new growth develop for next year, feed with a high potash fertiliser once a week until the end of September.
I always grow several pots and baskets of strawberries and now they have finished fruiting the plants are producing long runners. As long as the plants are healthy, a few of the runners can be pegged down into pots of compost where they will quickly root and form new plants for next year.
Feed cucumbers on a regular basis to keep them growing, flowering and producing more fruit. Once a week feed with a high potash tomato fertiliser and make sure the plants are never allowed to dry out.
Harvest garlic and shallots and once lifted, allow the bulbs to dry out thoroughly in the sun. Dry bulbs ripened in the sun will store much better.
Check ponds to make sure the pump is working properly and if any of the aquatic plants have yellow or dead leaves pick them off to prevent them from rotting in the water.
Once lavender flowers fade the plants can be given a trim with shears to remove the old flowering stems. Don’t cut back into old wood, but trim to remove the flowering stems and a little growth. This tidies up the plants and also helps to keep them compact and bushy.
August is the time to prune wisteria, by cutting back the long whippy growths that have been made over the summer. Some of the long stems can be tied to wires or trellis to extend the size of the climber, but all the others should be cut back to a couple of inches from where they grew. It is on these short growths known as spurs that flower buds develop for next year.