After several months of hot weather with parched lawns & potential drought restrictions we have reached the holiday month of August & it is time to take it easy and relax in your garden having hopefully put in the effort in the proceeding months ! As we start August most gardeners will have faced challenging conditions due to the above extreme weather patterns. Obviously one has to try to keep the most treasured plants & shrubs well hydrated & do what one can for the less important ones.
Start by looking around & seeing what needs tidying up. There are bound to be flowers that need deadheading to encourage additional growth especially roses. Hedges might need a quick trim with a cordless battery operated hedge trimmer - useful lightweight and reasonably priced if you do not already have one.
Some shrubs need more water than others which are drought resistant. If you do not give enough attntion to hydrangeas (hydra - Greek for water) they will quickly start to wilt and may be difficuly to revive. Make sure you water the roots preferably with a hose and not the leaves. Agapanthas and Nerine Lillies which are late flowering bulbs also need generous watering to make them flower.
In the greenhouse continue to feed tomato plants each week with Liquid Tomato Feed also good for cucumbers and pick out surplus tresses from the tomatoes to encourage better fruiting.Train cucumbers and cut back sideshoots. August is a good time of year to take cuttings from perennial plants shrubs or houseplants. The bases can be brushed with rooting powder before placing in trays or Roottrainers.This is not a good idea if you are going on holiday or do not have someone to keep up the watering on a regular basis !
Your vegetable garden should be coming into its own this month with several foods becoming ready for harvesting.Early potatoes should be ready now as runner beans broad beans and cabbage.Pinch out the tips of the climbing shoots of the runner beans once they reach the tip of their supports.Sow lettuce winter cabbage and purple sprouting broccoli.In your fruit cage prune raspberries and gooseberries and tie in new shoots.
There have been a number of news articles just lately about shortages of salad crops in the supermarkets as both here & abroad there have been problems with growing relating to extreme drought conditions. Sow crops of fast growing lettuce (some varieties go from seed to cropping in 3-4 weeks),microgreens, herbs & other vegetables and you will be rewarded with tasty fresh produce within weeks rather than scouring the shops for bags of unappealing produce.
In summary the No 1 tip for August is keep on top of the watering but otherwise sit back & relax this month perhaps on your new garden furniture and enjoy the hot summer days and warm sultry evenings which will be over all too soon.
Wishing you contentment & relaxation in your garden this August.
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