Things to do in the garden in August
With Sally Hammacott Kingswood Voice's garden enthusiast
Supposedly our hottest month, the long range weather forecast for August is not promising that as we have had some amazingly weather already this year but it’s looking okay for our gardens with cloudy sunshine and a few days of rain which will help replenish our water butts for watering pots and new plants.
August is the month to start planning ahead, collecting and storing hardy annual and perennials for sowing later, these may include Nigella and hardy geraniums. Some bulbs can now be planted such as daffodils and some lilies.
An eye needs to be kept on pests and diseases for example vine weevil grubs in pots or in the soil. Powdery mildew can be a problem if is a dry summer but is treatable and downy mildew might show as yellow blotches on leaves of Nicotiana, remove and destroy any affected leaves. Weeds can be a problem during the summer months. Annual weeds can be pulled up by hand but perennial weeds should be dug out including as much root as possible. Mulching can help, using bark or wood chips smothers weeds, but they need to be 4-6 inches thick and be regularly topped up to remain effective.
August is the time to prune wisterias and other climbing shrubs, as well as rambling roses once they have finished flowering. Hedges can have a final trim and herbs and lavenders can be lightly cut back after flowering.
Lawns should be cut lightly and often, leave the short clippings on the lawn to help retain moisture. Avoid using weed killers at this time of year as the autumn is a better time and will be more effective. Keeping a lawn well scarified can help reduce brown patches but most lawns will recover during the cooler autumnal months if they do succumb.
The garden can be a sanctuary not only for you but for many small animals and birds, find peace and pleasure in pottering.
Sally's garden tips for August
• Deadhead flowers regularly to help prolong the flowering season.
• Water pots regularly and any newly planted plants.
• Keep ponds topped up.
• Harvest vegetables as they ripen.
• Pot up lifted strawberry runners.
• Feed containers with a tomato liquid feed.
• As August draws towards it end sow hardy annuals.
• Take cuttings of tender perennials.