August is usually one of the hottest months of the year, although thunderstorms and strong winds are not uncommon. It’s a great time to enjoy the garden, but don’t neglect the routine jobs.
Routine Jobs Around the Garden
There are plenty of jobs to do during August, and if you neglect these, you’ll make work for yourself later. So take a moment and make sure you tackle our top 5 jobs for August.
Weed the Borders
This time of year, whilst weeding also watch out for self sown seedlings. These are natures gift and provide you with free plants for next season.
Perennial weeds such as Dandelion may require a weed treatment, so it’s a great idea to tackle them now while they are actively growing.
Deadhead Flowering Plants
Remove fading flowers to prevent plants from putting energy into producing seeds and encourage new growth and more flowers. Do this and your Roses and Penstemon will be flowering into the autumn!
Trim back hardy perennials such as Geranium to encourage new growth.
Annuals are likely to be over by the end of the month, so remove and compost.
Feed and Water Container Plants
Plants and shrubs planted in containers need extra help during the hot summer months. Make sure you water them regularly and give them a high potash (phosphate) feed every week: a liquid tomato feed is all you need.
Don’t forget your hanging baskets—watering, feeding and dead heading—will see them last into the autumn.
Start pruning your rambling Roses and Wisteria now, and trim the flowers from Lavender. It’s also the right time to tidy glossy evergreen shrubs such as Choisya, Hebe and Viburnum tinus.
A word of caution: some shrubs should not be pruned back to the wood, e.g., Lavender, as new shoots rarely grow from old wood.
It’s also time to trim deciduous hedges and conifers, if these weren’t tackled last month. Broad leaved hedges such as Elaeagnus x ebbingei or Spotted Laurel are best trimmed using secateurs since the damaged leaves will turn brown.
Apply Lawn Feed
This time of year, it’s best to raise your lawnmower blades if the weather is hot and dry, since the grass won’t be growing much. Also take off the grass box and leave the clippings for a mulch as this will help retain moisture in the dry weather.
Finally, get a high phosphate (or autumn) fertilizer to promote root growth and apply strictly according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Martin Webster, The Suburban Gardener
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