Jobs to do in August
Having had a lovely summer so far the weather was always going to change…and how!
Listed below are jobs to do in the garden in August to ensure that it looks the best it possibly can going into Autumn:
- Deadhead like crazy! Individual flowered plants such as shrub Roses, Dahlias and annuals such as Cosmos and Cleome will all flower longer if prevented from going to seed. The easiest way to do this is to be quite bold but to be careful not to take off neighbouring buds. With ground cover roses take off small branches, not individulal flowers as you’ll be there all day. Give a good water and perhaps some multi purpose feed and within a few weeks if the weather is warm you should have more buds.
- Hanging baskets and pots have been going for some time now and can be looking a little tatty. Now is the time to cut back a little on straggly petunias and nemesia for example. Again give a good water and feed and with a bit of luck the display will be rejuvinated enough to see you through to the Autumn.
- If your pots are beyond salvage, compost everything and replace with young hydrangeas bought from nurseries and garden centres. These will be happy enough in pots for a few years, or plant them in any free spaces you may have in your garden before winter sets in.
Below is a photo from Wollerton Old Hall with enormous pots and even more enormous Hydrangeas – simply stunning.
- If strong winds are forecast be careful to tie in roses and climbers such as jasmine or clematis to prevent them snapping or breaking in the gales. Young sappy hydrangeas and newly planted shrubs and perennials may also welcome additional staking.
- August is the time to trim lavender. Use secateurs and be bold, but never cut into any woody bits as Lavender does not break readily from old wood. The idea is to keep the plants as compact as possible allowing them to increase in size gradually. Remove all of the old flowers and their stalks, and another 7/10 cms of grey foliage – then have another go in February. If your plants are already overgrown, top heavy and woody they are best replaced.
- Initial pruning of Wisteria should ideally be carried out in August by removing all of the young growth produced this year which is not required to fill the framework. Cut with clean secateurs above the second or third bud from the base. The second pruning should be completed in January/ February.