August Gardening Tips and Snips
Remember to check roses regularly for pests and blackspot and other diseases, and spray if necessary with a recommended fungicide and/or insecticide such as Rose Clear Ultra. And if your garden is in need of some flower power, roses are the perfect solution.
If your family is already getting bored of the summer holidays, entertain them in the safety of your own garden. You can find lots of excellent garden games and other equipment to turn parts of your garden into a fun playground. Such as giant garden dominoes or even a Badminton set.
Many summer-flowering plants that have finished flowering can be cut back now and may produce further flushes of flowers. After pruning give the plants a quick pick-me-up by watering on a high potash liquid feed or sprinkle Fish Blood and Bone around the base of the plant. You can find a great range of gardening tools online such as Fiskars pruners which are ideal for the average gardener.
Rhododendrons, camellias and azaleas will be setting their flower buds for next year, so it’s important that they never go short of water at this time of year or the flower buds may fail next spring. Feeding with a liquid ericaceous feed will also produce more and better flowers. Mulching with bark or similar products will help maintain soil moisture levels and insulate the roots from damaging high temperatures.
Make sure your plants produce a display to be proud of by giving them just the right amount of water they need. Well-established plants may not need regular watering but newly planted ones, bedding plants and plants in containers will need regular watering. There are many new products that will make your watering quick and easy this summer, such as the Hozelock auto reel, which automatically rolls back up when you have finished watering.
Lawn Preparation for September
September is the best time to sow a new lawn or lay turf, but it pays to prepare the area now. To beat perennial weeds, spray with a weedkiller containing glyphosate such as Round-up. Once the turf has been removed, work over the soil to a depth of 9 inches with a fork and spade, removing weed roots and large stones, and incorporating compost or composted bark. Rake and level the soil walk over it to settle it, rake again and then leave it bare to allow weed seeds to germinate. These can be sprayed or hoed off ready for sowing or turfing next month.
Planning Autumn Planting
Start planning that new border. Look for plants with a long flowering period and those that have two or more seasons of interest with flowers, fruit, colourful stems and interesting foliage. Choose plants with different foliage colours and shapes, and remember that while evergreens help bring structure and winter interest they may need livening up with deciduous plants. Use winter and spring bedding plants to increase the seasons of interest, and plant bulbs for extra splashes of colour.
The harvesting season is now in full swing now, so make sure you pick crops that are ready. Leave them too long and they’ll lose flavour and tenderness. Now’s a good time to sow endive, radish, spring cabbage for next year, winter varieties of spinach and maincrop turnips. Having spent lots of time and effort growing your fruit and veg to perfection, protect it with fleece or small-mesh plastic netting – or, if you have a large area, put up a fruit cage.
Pests and diseases thrive in hot weather, so check plants regularly for tell-tale signs. Mildews and red spider mite are always worse in warm, dry conditions and these can soon get out of control. Earwigs eat the leaves and flower buds on plants like clematis, dahlias and chrysanthemums, and even slugs and snails can be on the prowl at this time of year.
Gardens are for enjoying – and the summer is the best time to do it. So make sure you sit back, relax and enjoy your garden this year from the comfort of your own garden furniture. Or entertain friends and family with a slap-up barbecue. And if you plan to stay out late add some easy-to-install garden lighting. There are loads of ideas in the garden centre to ensure you get the most enjoyment from your garden this summer.
Spring Flowering Bulbs
Start planting up some spring bulbs. Spring bulbs start arriving in-store from August onwards, including favourites such as daffodils and crocuses, and something rather grander, such as crown imperials. For colour now, add evergreen shrubs such as rosemary and euonymus, winterflowering pansies and primroses to give you interest through autumn and winter.
There’s still plenty of time to really enjoy your garden this summer. Make the most of it by investing in a new furniture set – perhaps you need something with more chairs and a bigger table – or a large parasol to create extra shade. Or how about a swing seat or hammock to relax in? And remember to pick up any care products you need for wooden furniture such as teak oil to keep your wood looking great.
As vine weevil beetles tend to lay eggs in late summer and early autumn it pays to protect vulnerable plants in pots – such as begonias, fuchsias, cyclamen and sedums – with Vine Weevil Killer. A wide range of pests can be controlled by spraying with Ultimate Bug Killer. And check out our range of biological controls for vine weevil and other common pests.
If your garden’s starting to look a bit jaded, inject some autumn colour with containers. Plant them up yourself with favourites such as pansies, evergreen shrubs such as euonymus, and under planted with spring-flowering bulbs. Or make it really easy by taking home a ready-planted container.
Plants of the Month
Keep the summer colour going with our plants of the month. There’s plenty to choose from including roses, fuchsias, penstemon, lavatera, hydrangea, caryopteris, phygelius, and perovskia, and dozens of different herbaceous perennials. Ensure your garden’s a riot of colour and get planting today.
August is the best time to take cuttings from half-hardy bedding plants such as fuchsias, pelargoniums, marguerites and trailing petunias. Once done, cover the pots with a polythene bag or with a propagator lid and place somewhere warm and sheltered but out of strong, direct sunlight. Don’t forget to pick up everything you need for taking successful cuttings including pots, compost, dibbers, rooting hormone, labels and propagator lids.