Gardening Tips for August
Added: 23/07/14 : 14:07:12
August is usually one of the hottest months of the year - making watering essential. Try to use grey water wherever possible, especially as water butts may be running low if it has been a dry summer. August is traditionally holiday-time, so you might need to enlist the help of friends and family to look after the garden while you are away. When you are at home, take the time to prune summer-flowering shrubs.
Don’t delay summer pruning restricted fruits
Deadhead flowering plants regularly
Watering! - particularly containers, and new plants, preferably with grey recycled water or stored rainwater
Collect seed from favourite plants
Harvest sweetcorn and other vegetables as they become ready
Continue cutting out old fruited canes on raspberries
Lift and pot up rooted strawberry runners
Keep ponds and water features topped up
Feed the soil with green manures
General tasks and garden maintenance
The most important thing this month is to enjoy your garden; heady scents, glorious colours, an abundance of fruits and vegetables and hopefully more sunshine. What could be more enjoyable and satisfying than surveying the results of your hard work throughout the year?
Remember to water and feed your plants regularly, especially those in hanging baskets, pots or containers as well as climbers and roses growing against a sunny wall. Many a plant will not recover from a drought, so water regularly and do not resort to feast and famine.
Water hydrangeas with hydrangea colourant for true blue hydrangeas next year.
If possible, set up an automatic watering system for your vegetable plot, borders and even containers. They are worth their weight in gold and can work on a sensor system that detects how dry the soil is. Once you have one you will wonder why you did not install one years ago. Going on holiday will no longer involve wondering if your precious plants will survive a dry spell or paying someone else to hold a hose!
If it stays warm and dry, water saving strategies include using bathwater and washing up water, provided they are neither too dirty or oily.
Keep your pond topped up, free of pond weed and clean - green algae can be toxic to pets.
Boring but vital. Keep on top of weeds in borders, the vegetable garden and all your pots and containers. Little and often will reduce what will become a Herculean task if left to spiral out of control.
Weeds not only look messy but use valuable moisture in the ground. The best and easiest way to weed is to use a Dutch hoe which will cut the weeds just below the surface. Weeding on a sunny day will ensure weeds left on the surface dry out and die in the warmth.