Gardening in August
We’ve put together a detailed list of jobs that can be done whilst you’re gardening in August:
The following vegetable crops can be planted outside now: lettuce, Chinese cabbage, spring cabbage, endive, kohl rabi, radish, winter spinach and turnips for their green tops.
Hot and humid conditions can spread potato blight really quickly, so it’s worth considering spraying your crops with a chemical fungicide to stop an attack.
Bedding, climbing and container plants
Keep your bedding plants healthy by deadheading, watering daily, and feeding with a good quality fertiliser. Pick flowers regularly to encourage more blooms.
Encourage the spread of your Clematis by layering (it has a better success rate than taking cuttings).
Prune Wisteria to improve growth.
Stake and tie up any plants that are starting to droop.
Water and feed sweet peas.
During the hot weather, water pots and hanging baskets at least once a day and remove any dead flower heads. Also, use a feed once a week to keep everything looking great.
Pick individual blueberries when they turn a dark blue colour. If you like a more intense flavour, leave the berries on the bush for a few days after they’ve ripened.
If you pegged down some strawberry runners last month, they should be ready to cut free from the parent plant and plant out separately.
Continue cutting out old fruited canes on raspberries.
Pick autumn raspberries.
Prune cordon and Espalier apples (water trees if necessary).
Trim and prune strawberries to stop them from spreading.
After mowing your lawn, check for hollows (large cracks) and bare patches – repairing any damaged areas. If you’re planning to seed a new area of lawn this autumn, start preparing the ground now. Remove any weeds and stones, levelling the soil with a rake as you go.
Flowers, shrubs and trees
Perennials (winter surviving plants)
Give your soil a boost of nutrients with green manure. Scatter seeds over the surface of the soil and water in well.
The weevil and its larvae can be one of the most destructive pests in a garden. Use biological controls (available from Homebase) around vulnerable plants before the grubs begin to hatch.
Carry on removing dead flower heads from plants in bloom.
If you see large purple spots on the surface of your rose leaves, it’s probably suffering from a black spot. If you notice raised orange patches, it’s suffering from rust. Remove any infected leaves and burn straight away to stop it spreading. Roses growing in dry sheltered areas (against walls) are prone to powdery mildew. Keep roots moist by using organic matter in autumn and applying mulches in spring.
Give lavender a light trim as the flowers fade – it stops the plant from becoming leggy and helps trigger flowering next year.
Water and feed the shrubs regularly. And don’t forget to use rainwater and ericaceous feed for plants like Rhododendrons.
Water all newly planted trees well for the first year – it takes at least a year for new roots to develop deep into the soil for the tree to be fully settled in.