Mid summers day might have come and gone but there is still plenty to do in the garden. Even though the lawn may be looking a little brown, and there are gaps where some flowers have come and gone, your garden is beginning to gear up to replenish itself and you can help. Follow these August Gardening Calendar top tips and help keep your flower and vegetable garden going strong into the next couple of months.
- Don’t let your garden go thirsty. Water and feed your plants regularly, especially those in hanging baskets, or pots or containers. Many a plant will not recover from a drought, so it’s important to not let them dry out. Adding feed once a week will also extend the length of your flowers and produce better plants.
- If you’re going on holiday make sure you get someone to pop in and check on your plants while you’re away (and bring them back a present to say thanks). Also, when possible, try and use recycled water in your garden as long as it’s not too dirty or contains a lot of oil.
- Weeding is a never-ending task we know, but one that is essential for you to try and keep on top off. Get in the habit of pulling up a couple of these nuisance plants in your borders and vegetable patches whenever you’re out in your garden. After all, it’s not all about appearances. Weeds take up valuable moisture from the ground, which your plants need to survive.
- If you spot a flower or plant that’s on its way out, then help it along its way. Deadheading will not only make your garden look better, you’ll stop your plant wasting away, as well as giving it the chance to re-flower again.
- Cut back the foliage from all hardy geraniums once they’ve finished flowering as this should bring about a second wave of flowers later on.
- Save seeds for next year from the seed heads of hardy annuals, perennials, bulbs, trees and shrubs. Make sure you collect when they’re nearly ripe – just as they are turning brown. Simply snip them off, put them in a paper bag with a label and hang them somewhere cool, dark and dry for later.
- If you have a favourite plant, it’s easy to make more of the same plants for free by taking cuttings. Perennial and bedding plants will root well at this time of year when put into damp compost. Cuttings should be 5cm to 10cm long and you should take several cuttings from each plant, just incase one or two don’t make it.
Vegetables and Fruit
- Radishes, carrots, strawberries, cucumbers, aubergines, coriander… whatever you’ve planted, now’s the time to get picking. If you find you’ve got a surplus why not freeze it, or make it into a delicious jam or chutney?
- Make sure you tie in any new growth on blackberries and pot up any strawberry runners that have rooted. Stop your berry crops being pinched by birds by covering the patch with netting, ensuring the netting stands well clear of the fruit.
- Make sure your plum trees are fully supported. Prop up heavy branches with sticks, otherwise they could snap when heavy with fruit.
- Check your fruit trees for brown rot and quickly remove any effected fruit to stop it spreading.
- If you’re growing marrows, now’s the time to put straw or cardboard underneath in order to keep them off the earth so as to avoid rotting.
- Make sure you damp down your greenhouse on sunny days to increase humidity and deter insects.
- You can use blinds or shade paint to prevent your greenhouse from over-heating in sunny weather.
- At the end of summer, the nights will get colder so make sure you close the ventilators and doors at night to retain the warmth of the day.
- Check your greenhouse carefully for whitefly. Hanging sticky pads will help keep these pests under control.
- There’s nothing like the smell of freshly cut grass which is great because now’s the time to mow more often.
- Don’t bother to feed or water your lawn as this will encourage too much growth that won’t stand up to the test of winter. Don’t worry if your lawn is looking a little brown, the autumn rain will make it green again.
- If your lawn has grown out of control while you’ve been on holiday, cut it first with the motor blades on the highest setting and then on progressively lower settings. This will reduce the amount of stress on your grass and encourage thicker growth.
- Even though it’s summer, many birds still rely on feeding baskets. Hang your bird feeders over a smooth surface, such as a patio, so that any dropped seeds can be easily swept up. Plus, you won’t attract any unwelcome visitors, such as rats.
- It’s not only your plants that can go thirsty in the hot weather, animals can as well. Your birdbaths and ponds are an essential part of their life so make sure you keep them topped up.
- If you have a spare piece of bare soil then leave it dry. Birds love using these patches as dust baths during the dry weather.
- If you think you have a hedgehog in your garden try and encourage it to stay by putting out some cat or dog food for it to eat. You can even start making a hedgehog box so it has somewhere nice and warm for the winter.
So that’s your gardening calendar sorted for August. If you’ve got a top gardening tip for this month let us know in the comments below. Or, share this article with your friends on twitter, facebook and Google+.
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