August Gardening Tips
Harvesting has started, both in the fields and the garden.
Get ready to eat, store, freeze and preserve!
- Cut back any seed-producing plants if you do not want to self-seed (some can look attractive in winter and they make good winter bird food).
- Begin planting autumn-flowering bulbs.
- Check plants for mildew and cut off any affected parts.
Do not throw onto the compost heap; dispose of them in the dustbin or burn them.
- Give lavender a haircut once the flowers have faded. Be care full not to over-trim into the woody stems.
- If you've not already done so, cut back the wispy shoots on wisteria to five or six buds.
Fruit & Vegetables
- Pick fruit and vegetables for storage, preserving or freezing.
- Remove any dead, damaged or diseased branches from fruit trees.
- Cut back any branches of Morello cherry, nectarine or peach trees, once fruited.
- Tie up any new espalier shoots.
- Put bricks or tiles under squashes and pumpkins as they ripen to prevent them rotting.
- Ripen onions by bending them over at their neck.
- The spread of potato blight occurs if conditions are hot and humid. To prevent an attack, it may be worth considering using a fungicide spray.
- Sow grass seed for a new lawn from mid-August to mid-September.
- Mow the lawn on a weekly basis, but do not feed any more.
- Pull out any thistles or other weeds by hand or use a selective weed killer.
- Clean up patios and hard surfaces to get rid of moss and algae. Doing this job now will prevent them becoming slippery during the winter.
- Replace broken glass panes in greenhouses and fix leaking shed roofs before the autumn rains. Greenhouse guttering can also be checked to ensure it is not blocked with debris.
Trees & Shrubs
- Re-trim cut hedges if necessary.
- Stop feeding roses or you will diminish their winter hardiness.
- Plant clematis and evergreens, watering them in well.
- Prune dead material from roses, with the exception of climbers.
- Water trees thoroughly during extended periods of drought.
- Trim shrubs and evergreens into shape.
Tubs & Containers
- Cut back over-vigorous container plants.
- Take and pot up cuttings of fuchsias, pelargonium and other hybrids.
- Stop applying fertilizer.
Take advantage of the dry weather by painting fences, sheds and other wooden features with a preservative. Check that any products used are within their use-by date, and still legal. Many of the old oil-based products such as creosote are no longer approved for domestic use.