Monty’s Top 10 August Gardening Jobs

Well what a lovely summer it’s been so far and hopefully it will continue, but what does that mean for our gardens? With each season comes new obstacles to overcome so I have compiled a list of the top ten things to be getting on with this August in your garden. I always think this is a good month for us gardener’s as all the hard work is paying off, bedding plants are looking good, the borders are full of colour and the vegetable patch is over flowing with food for the table. My ultimate top tip for August has to be, spend some well earned time sitting and enjoying your garden, you have worked hard all year so now is the month to take a little time for yourself, but not too much.
Blue-Garden-Three
Dead Head Summer Flowering Plants

Dead head summer flowering plants this month to extend the colour

 1) Dead heading – for a continuing display, make sure you are regularly dead heading your flowering plants and cutting back brown foliage to promote new growth and revitalize. Regular dead heading will encourage bedding & summer flowering perennials to produce more flowers and prolong the summer colour well in to Autumn. Watch out for seeds to collect too, such as Foxgloves, Aquilega and even bedding plants such as Marigold, collect, dry & store these for next year.

 2) New plants – If you are planning on planting any new trees, shrubs, or perennials, do it this month to give them a chance to take root and don’t forget to keep them well watered now before the cooler temperatures arise.

 3) Moving plants – If, over the summer, you’ve given your indoor plants a little taste of the great outdoors then consider moving them back inside this month to acclimatise them back to indoor life. No doubt they may have grown a little so also consider re-potting them.

 4) Add colour – You may want to change your colour pallet around for the autumn; try bringing in chrysanthemums as they have a broad range of colours to choose from and also start to replace some of your annual plants with some cool season annuals so as to create a smoother transition.

 5) Weeds – The gardeners bane. August is the ideal time to take action against these pests as it is around this time that they start to produce thousands of seeds ready to germinate in the spring. The best time to complete this task is after some rainfall, then once you have carefully dug them out, you can cover the area with fresh compost. My top tip with this is if you don’t have time to dig weeds up or it’s too dry then make sure you just nip the flowers or seed heads off to stop them from spreading further.

 6) Staking – Top heavy plants can take a beating all year round, but with autumn and undoubtedly stronger winds around the corner, you may want to prepare plants such as Lillie’s and Dahlias by using stakes to support them. Also keep a careful watch on your Tomato plants, as the fruit develops it can way down stems and snap them, keep these staked and supported.

7) Cuttings – Now is a good time to be taking cuttings from many plants in the garden such as Penstemons, Clematis, Pelargoniums and many other plants that are producing green side shoots that are perfect to use. Use pots of well water compost, cut the stems you want to use as cuttings and make sure you trim them down to a leaf joint and remove as many leaves as you can. Make sure you do this within minutes of cutting the stem, the longer you wait the more chance the cutting will fail. Make sure the cuttings are kept moist but not over watered, you can add a bag over the pot to hold the moisture in. Check the cuttings in 3-4 weeks time to see if they have started to develop roots.
August is the perfect month to take cuttings

August is the perfect month to take cuttings

 8) Pick your herbs – August is the optimal time to harvest some of your herbs for drying and storage as the oil content responsible for strong flavour is at it’s peak. Make sure you do this when the leaves are mature but before flowering begins. Also, the best time of day would be after the morning dew but before it gets too hot. It’s also important to cut back dead flowers or new flowers if you want to keep using the herbs.

 9) Mid season fertilizer – Try adding a layer of compost or manure to your flower beds and vegetable gardens at this time to give your plants an extra boost of nutrients they may have lost. Make sure you are still feeding bedding plants & Hanging Baskets once a week, Tomato feed is perfect for them as it encourages more flowers, to keep the colour lasting longer.

Harvest Potatoes this month and make sure you enjoy them!

Harvest Potatoes this month and make sure you enjoy them!

 10) Onions & potatoes – After the leaves have gone brown it is now time to harvest your crop. Carefully dig them out and cut away the dead foliage; then you must store them in a shaded area with plenty of ventilation for about a week until the skins have hardened, all the better for a long storage life. Most of all make sure you enjoy eating them, all the hard work is now paying off!

So there you have it, lots to keep you busy this month, and if you have any children why not put them to work too; get creative even, build a fairy garden or something to inspire their imaginations.

Follow the team and me on Twitter for more helpful tips for your garden @gardens2you

Love  Monty

XxX

 

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Monty

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