Enjoy the hazy days of summer this August

August is the stage of summer where your hard work in the garden should be really paying off, in the form of thriving plants and lots of flowers for you to admire and enjoy.

August also means holidays, and long summer days lounging in the sun but there is still some timely care and maintenance to do to ensure you appreciate your garden at its best this month.

Plants

Your plants will be in full bloom now offering a welcome pop of colour to enjoy during the hazy summer days. 

Keep on top of watering, check your plants on a daily basis and water them in either the morning or evening, if the soil is dry. Container plants will need more water than those planted direct in the ground, place your finger on the compost to check moisture levels.

All the watering you are doing to keep your plants alive will slowly wash the nutrients from the compost in your pots and planters so keep feeding your plants with a high potash feed.

Make sure you deadhead regularly after the flowering period has ended and your bedding plants have faded – this keeps plants looking tidy and encourages new growth.

This month is the best time to take cuttings from bedding plants such as fuchsias, pelargoniums, marguerites and petunias to pot up ready for next season.

It’s also time to start thinking about next year, especially in terms of spring bulbs which will need to be planted from September.  So, start looking in your garden centre, online or flick through catalogues to get inspired!

Lawncare

August sees the most amount of foot traffic on your lawn as children play during the school holidays and you entertain families and friends.

During this month, keep your lawn looking green by allowing blades of grass to grow longer and mowing no more than once a week.  Remember that cutting your lawn too short will create brown spots and always raise blades when trimming.

Don’t water your lawn any more than every 7 – 10 days, and only when the soil is dried out.

Grow Your Own

This month is all about harvesting!  Tomatoes, French beans, runner beans, courgettes, apples, plums and cherries can all now be picked which will encourage more growth. Keep a lookout for blight and remove and destroy any infected plants to stop it spreading.

You can also start to harvest main crop potatoes and enjoy them with BBQ and salad!

Lift onions, shallots and garlic too once the leaves have yellowed.

If you have a herb garden now is the time to cut to encourage new growth, which you can harvest before the frosts.

Keep an eye out for the butterfly eggs on the leaves of your brassica plants as they will soon turn into lots of caterpillars that will much away on your precious crops.

Fruit wise, you can start to harvest strawberries, summer-fruiting raspberries and blackcurrants for a refreshing fruit salad. Use netting to protect further soft fruit from birds.

Now’s the perfect time to get prepared for autumn/winter crops – radishes and salad leaves can be planted now for a harvest in few weeks.

Wildlife

In the warmer weather, we advise to top up bird baths and ponds daily so birds have fresh water to drink and bathe in.  The hard ground also makes it more difficult for birds to find food so supplement the diet of our feathered friends by placing some bird food outdoors in a bird feeder.

Baby hedgehogs are also on the move in August, so leave out some meat-based cat or dog food and water for them.

Pollinator insects will also be out in force so keep your nectar rich plants in great health for them.  Leaf cutter bees are still actively using insect boxes so keep plenty of empty tubes available for them.

And most importantly, sit back and enjoy the sunshine and balmy summer evenings as you've deserved it!

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