Jobs for August’s garden
I can’t believe it’s August already – the months seem to be flying by!
On the weather front, July was a bit of a mixed bag with some high temperatures, cool days, rain and wind. Having said that most things seem to be growing fairly well, although the breeze does dry the soil out and in our garden some clumps of herbaceous perennials are starting to wilt.
Gardening jobs for August
The rain though July has helped to keep the garden looking fresh and saved on watering, although if you have plants growing in containers, they will still need regular watering and feeding to keep the plants growing and healthy.
To keep lawns green and healthy mow little and often which helps to maintain a thick covering of grass. If the weather turns hot and dry, lift the height of cut slightly.
Dead head roses and other summer perennials around the garden to encourage a late flush of blooms in early autumn.
Water and feed camellias from through August as this is when the tiny flower buds in the tips of the stems start to develop. If the soil’s dry, they don’t form properly, so keep the roots moist at all times.
If you have some pelargoniums (geraniums) now is the time to start taking short cuttings if you want more plants for next year. They root very well on a shady windowsill.
Keep an eye on apples and plums and any fruits that turn brown and start to rot on the tree should be removed and disposed of. This is known as brown rot and it left on the tree it soon spreads to healthy fruits.
If vine weevil is a problem in your garden, now is a good time to apply the nematodes that are watered into the soil or compost around susceptible plants. The microscopic worms find the vine weevil grubs and infect them with a bacterium that kills them
Keep hoeing the borders and between rows of vegetables to chop of seedling weeds before they get too large and flower.
August is when many vegetables such as runner beans, courgettes are coming thick and fast and the secret to keeping them productive is to harvest little and often. Pick beans and courgettes while they are small and tender to encourage more flowers.
If growing tomatoes, remember to pinch of the side shoots on upright varieties and feed them weekly with a high potash tomato fertiliser to help the fruits develop and ripen.
There’s still time to sow beetroot, carrots, lettuce, spring onions, spinach and other leafy veg to enjoy through the autumn.
Stop tomatoes to prevent them making more growth and flowers. This way the flowers and fruit that are already on the plants will have time to develop and ripen by the end of September.
Gooseberries and redcurrants can be given a summer prune to shorten the long new stems made this summer by up to two-thirds. With blackcurrants we prune slightly differently and cut out the old wood that’s fruited and leave the long new stems for next year.
For more weekly gardening tips and advice from Martin, visit “Pots & Trowels” on Facebook or subscribe on YouTube for free. You’ll also find a selection of Jill’s recipes on our website and details of our book, ‘Gardening on the Menu’. www.martinfish.com