August Gardening Tips
After a warm and rainy July maybe August will prove a little more settled! Some of the cottage garden plants in our garden took a bit of a pasting in the downpours, notwithstanding our best attempts at staking them. There have also been a few broken rose stems. Despite these casualties the garden is looking remarkably fresh with lots of growth amongst the ornamentals and in the vegetable patch.
We are harvesting potatoes, broad beans and raspberries and have quite a lot of salad crops to chomp through. Nothing quite beats the taste of home grown produce and the quiet satisfaction of growing your own. Of course the weeds have enjoyed the conditions too and require some attention.
My August to do list goes something like this…
Deadhead the faded flowers of roses, perennials and annuals to encourage new blooms. Leave any seed heads that are decorative or from which you want to harvest seed.
When they have finished flowering prune rambling and old shrub roses, removing the stems which bore flowers earlier in the year. This gives time for new shoots to mature properly before the winter. These roses flower on the previous year’s growth, so the new shoots which appear now will be the ones carrying the flowers next year.
Other roses such as climbers, bush and standard roses flower on the same year’s growth and are generally pruned in spring. They can be tidied up in autumn to minimise wind rock over the winter.
Trim lavender bushes once they have finished flowering and take cuttings of tender perennials such as Pelargoniums, Fuchsias and Salvias.
Now is the perfect time to sow lettuce, spring cabbage and winter spinach, as well as keep tomatoes well watered. Be sure to pinch out the tips of runner beans and pick courgettes regularly. I am always amazed how productive a single courgette plant can be.
As August progresses spring flowering bulbs will start to come in to the garden centres. But more on those next month ….
With Hydrangeas, Agapanthus, Asters, Fuchsias and a host of bedding plants all at their peak, I hope you enjoy a very colourful month in the garden.