Garden Jobs in August 2021
August is a great time to think about keeping up interest in your garden throughout the seasons. The last 18 months have proven how important our outdoor spaces can be. For many of us they have become a haven; keeping us safe and getting us back to nature, giving us enjoyment and a sense of satisfaction. Here are some things to do and to look out for in your garden to keep you busy this month:
1. Keep dead heading throughout the month to encourage longer displays. Dahlia flowers, in particular look fabulous indoors, so the more you use for cut flowers, the more flower buds they will produce.
2. Extend your flowering displays in your borders by adding some late summer show stoppers. Borders can start to look tired in August and gaps appear here and there, so give your garden a boost with late-flowering perennials, such as Asters, Rudbeckias, Heleniums, Helianthus, Sedums, Crocosmia, Salvia, Verbena, Coreopsis and Anemones. 1.
3. Enjoy your fresh flowers in the home for longer. This time of year Sweet Peas start putting their energy into setting seed. To delay this process as long as possible, make sure you cut every bloom once a week and remove any seed pods as soon as possible.
4. Keep spring-flowering shrubs, such as Camellias and Rhododendrons well-watered, especially through periods of hot and breezy weather. This will ensure better flowering next year.
5. Give trained fruit trees a summer prune to keep the shape you require, removing any upright growth that cannot be tied into your frame.
6. Replace tired summer containers with evergreen grasses or ferns, shrubs and colourful perennials, such as Heuchera for fantastic structural Autumn displays.
7. Penstemons are great 'value for money plants' giving you flowers through the summer until the first frosts. Why not find some space in your borders, or plant up some containers for some extra colour. Once planted and rooting in, why not take some cuttings for even more plants next year. Choose strong, healthy growth without flower buds and remove lower leaves or any side shoots. Cut the stem below a node with a sharp knife and insert into sandy or gritty compost. Place in a warm and bright position, water well and keep moist until roots have formed. Keep in frost-free conditions druing the winter and plant out next spring.
8. Prune Wisteria to encourage bud formation next year. Select new stems to tie in horizontally forming part of your framework, this will curb vigour and promote flowering. Cut back all whippy shoots leaving a few leaves before the woody stem. Don't be afraid to trim, this really does make a difference the following year.
9. Lightly trim Hebes and Lavenders after flowering, removing flower heads and tipping the new growth. 10. To encourage wildlife to flourish in your garden, leave some seedheads, berries and hips to develop for vital food sources. 11. Collect seeds from perennials and hardy annuals once ripened, and store in paper envelopes in a cool, dry place ready for sowing next Spring. 12. Give your evergreen hedges and shrubs their final trim of the year to keep them looking neat and tidy and healthy. These include Euonymus, Aucuba, Elaeagnus, Osmanthus, Photinia, Pittosporum, Ilex, Taxus, Prunus laurocerasus, and Prunus lusitanica. Be sure to remove any dead, diseased or weak shoots. 13. Plant Autumn flowering bulbs, such as Colchicum and Amaryllis. 14. Keep your feathered friends happy by topping up bird baths daily and cleaning them regularly. 15. Cut back hardy Geraniums, taking out old flowering stems and tired foliage, water and feed to encourage new late growth. 16. Treat blackspot on your roses, and ensure you remove any fallen leaves from around the plant. 17. Prune your rambling roses once flowering is finished cutting back all side shoots to healthy buds, Allow light in and encourage better flowering next year by removing two or three of the oldest woody stems. 18. Ensure you continue to water any new additions in your garden over dry weather whilst their roots get established. It's easy to forget when a plant looks so fantastic above ground, that the roots take a while to adjust to their new surrounding and need regular watering to remain healthy until they have formed deep roots that can survive on natural ground water. A good tip is to mulch after rain as this helps keep the ground moist for longer. 19. Hoe annual weeds on a dry day to save time hand weeding. 20. Keep an eye our for aphids on new shoots and treat with sb invigorator. 21. The most important thing to do this month - sit back with a cup of tea or well-earned glass of something special and enjoy all the fruits of your labour.