August – summer holiday time
August is the holiday month. In the garden it is a bit of a change over month, as if it too is having a summer holiday. The peak of the herbaceous perennials is over and the late-summer/autumn flowering plants are just beginning to get going. This is when hanging baskets and pots come into their own providing lots of additional colour in the garden.
Mowing may not be needed as frequently at the moment especially if it has been hot and dry. As for July, established lawns may go brown during a period of hot dry weather but don’t worry. They will soon green up following some rain. However, do not apply weed/feed type products as they could kill the grass. Wait until we have a period of wetter weather and the grass is growing again. Newly sown or turfed lawns may need some watering but try and do this in the evening so the water soaks into the grass and doesn’t just evaporate.
Keep watering baskets and pots . This is a daily task, especially if it is very hot. Keep feeding them too. However, don’t feed if the soil has completely dried out. Rehydrate first and then feed or it puts the plant under too much stress.
As lavender finishes flowering trim with shears to remove all the spend flower stalks. Cut just into the new growth at the base of the stalk but don’t cut into the old growth. They don’t like it! Pruning immediately after flowering helps keep them bushy for longer and allows for a bit of regrowth before the cold and wet of autumn and winter begin to make an appearance.
Most birds have finished nesting now so hedges can be cut . Cutting them now will make sure they stay looking tidy the longest as they are not growing as quickly.
Keep watering and feeding your tomatoes and courgettes . Remove any yellowing leaves. Also, keep picking them as they ripen. I grow cherry tomatoes in a wall basket which makes it too easy to pick them and eat them whilst I am watering the pots on my patio! They taste really sweet.
Finish pruning Wisteria and also summer pruning trained fruit trees.
Rambling roses should be pruned once they have finished flowering. They flower on the wood grown the previous year so all the side shoots that have flowered can be cut back to one or two buds from the main stem. Tie-in any new strong shoots. Any very old stems can be cut to the ground which will encourage more new shoots.
Keep ponds and bird baths topped up especially if hot or dry/
In addition to these there is ongoing deadheading and of course weeding . Do the weeds ever stop?!