The last month of the Summer, August brings with it weather that can reach scorching heights with very little rainfall. Keeping your garden well watered is essential to keep it looking good at this time of year. As is keeping on top of those weeds and deadheading to ensure displays last as long as they can into early Autumn.
Quick Gardening Checklist for August
- Prune your Wisteria
- Deadhead flowers on a regular basis to promote new flowers
- Water your plants regularly – preferably with recycled grey water
- Make arrangements for regular watering if you’re away on holiday
- Collect seeds from your garden plants
- Harvest your vegetables when they are ready
- Continue to cut out old fruited canes from raspberries
- Top up your strawberry supply by potting any rooted strawberry runners
- Ensure your pond or water features are topped up (the heat may evaporate some water)
- Feed your soil with green manures
1. Lawn care
Increased sunlight will encourage your lawn to grown at a faster rate. Mow your lawn on a weekly basis to encourage fresh new growth and to keep a tidy length. Raise the mower blades slightly to reduce stress against the lawn and give it a high phosphate feed to encourage stronger roots in preparation for winter.
If you have laid or sowed new lawn in the spring, then it will need extra water to ensure that it survives through its first summer. A good way of making sure it’s receiving sufficient water is to place an empty jam jar upwards in the middle of the lawn when you turn on your sprinkler. This will allow you to see how much water your new lawn is receiving. Once your jar has around half an inch in the bottom of the jar, your lawn has received sufficient water.
For older lawns, patches of brown appearing at this time of year is very common and will recover when the autumn rains arrive. Whilst it’s very tempting to do so, try to refrain from watering the grass unless absolutely necessary.
2. Keep thirsty flowers well watered
The theme of August is staying vigilant in your watering to ensure your garden remains healthy.
As many of us disappear on holiday during this month, it’s a good idea to enlist the help of a friend or neighbour to continue watering whilst you’re away to ensure you don’t come back to a parched garden. Alternatively there are many automatic watering systems that you can set up on a timer to keep on top of watering tasks whilst you’re away. If you need a hand with setting one of these up we’d be happy to help, give Thames Valley Landscapes a call on 01628 629720.
Make deadheading part of your daily routine and remove faded flowers regularly to encourage flowering right until the end of summer. Dahlias, roses and penstemon, bedding plants and those in your hanging baskets and pots, will all appreciate having their dead flowers removed to prolong their display.
Refrain from cutting back ornamental grasses, as their delicate fronds provide much welcome visual interest over the Winter months.
Remember to collect seeds of your favourite plants so that you can fill your garden with these next year.
August is the most common time for your roses to start showing signs of black spot. If black spot is found, do not simply spray your roses. Remove any fallen leaves and burn them away from your plants to stop the spread of the disease.
Keep up your weekly feeding regime to revive your pots and border perennials which look like they could do with a boost.
2. Protect greenhouse plants
High temperatures bring an increased risk of scorching, so it is important to regulate the temperature of your greenhouse. If you want to increase the humidity of your greenhouse, try damping the flooring. To bring down the temperature of your greenhouse, open vents, doors and windows.
Make sure you regularly check your plants for water to stop any blossom end rot, especially tomatoes. Regularly inspect your plants for pest infestations, and space your plants out to minimize the risk of this transferring from one plant to another.
3. House Plants
Houseplants tend to benefit from being placed outside on a patio during the summer months, this lets them make the most of the sun. Freely water your plants, but try to keep the timings to the early morning or late evening. This will reduce the risk of evaporation and scorching.
Keep an eye out for red spider mites, glasshouse white fly, mealy bug and scale insects. They are pests and will harm the health of your indoor plants.
4. Keep sowing in the vegetable patch
Don’t be afraid to try and get some quick maturing vegetables sown before the end of the summer. Crops like rocket, lettuce, radish, turnips and fennel are perfect late summer crops.
Continue a consistent supply of water to your vegetables to help fight against diseases and bolting. Carrot fly is still an issue at this time of year so be careful to check crops efficiently. If you are growing broad beans, pinch off the tops once the lowest flowers have set as this will help prevent aphid infestation.
Should you need a hand with garden landscaping and general maintenance, Thames Valley Landscapes can help. Call us on 01628 629 720 for creative ways to make the most of your garden space all year round.