The beauty of the season - August in the garden
August is the stage of summer where your hard work in the garden should be 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. Here is our lowdown on August gardening jobs.
Your plants will be in full bloom now offering a welcome pop of colour to enjoy during the hazy summer days.
Our key gardening tip is to keep on top of watering and check your plants daily, watering them in either the morning or evening, if the soil is dry. Container plants, such as those planted in our terracotta collection and hanging baskets will need more water than those planted directly in flower borders, place your finger on the compost to check moisture levels.
If it has been a dry summer, use your water butt or grey water rather than a hosepipe. 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 your hardy annual plants looking tidy and encourages new growth at this time of year.
This month is the best time to take cuttings from bedding plants and summer flowering shrubs such as sweet peas, fuchsias, pelargoniums, marguerites and petunias to pot up ready for next season. The best time to perform major pruning on your rambling roses is right after it has finished flowering. Why not use our Olivia Ceramic Vase to create a show-stopping display of cut flowers in your lounge?
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! You can also start to collect seeds from flower heads when they are just about to disperse, as this means they are ripe and therefore more likely to germinate.
August and early summer see the most foot traffic on your lawn as children play during the school holidays and you entertain families and friends.
During this month, it's a good idea to 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! Tomato plants, french beans, runner beans, courgettes, apples, plums, strawberry plants 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 from spreading.
You can also start to harvest main crop potatoes from your vegetable garden and enjoy them on our Kamado Ceramic BBQ with 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 eat away at your precious crops.
Fruit-wise, you can start to harvest from your fruit trees. Use netting to protect further soft fruit bushes 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 a few weeks.
In the warmer weather, we advise topping 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 one of our wooden bird feeders.
Baby hedgehogs are also on the move in August, so leave out some meat-based cat or dog food and water for them, as well as a hedgehog house to shelter them from the hot sun.
Pollinator insects will also be out in force so keep your nectar-rich plants in great health for them. Leafcutter bees are still actively using insect boxes so keep plenty of empty tubes available for them, our insect hotels can easily be hung from a tree or fence, ready for visitors including bees, ladybirds, lacewings, spiders and butterflies.
And most importantly, sit back and enjoy the sunshine and balmy summer evenings as you've deserved it!