It's official – August is here, the kids are off school, and it's the best time of the year to make the most of your garden. To keep your garden looking in top form right through to Autumn, there are several jobs that you need to complete now.
In August, watering is one of the most important things you can do in the garden. In addition, you’ll need to keep an eye on how your plants are handling the hot weather. Towards the end of the month, it’s time to start preparing your garden for the colder weather to come.
Gardening expert Fiona Jenkins at MyJobQuote.co.uk has come up with this list of 10 important jobs to complete in the garden in August. By following the tips in this list, you can ensure your garden remains looking beautiful throughout the month and right through to September and beyond.
Gardening Jobs To Complete In August
Regular Watering Is Essential
Watering is one of the most important things you can do during the month of August. Ensuring everything in your garden is properly watered will ensure your plants flourish and bloom to their full potential. A healthy garden will require frequent watering during August, so you must ensure to create a schedule so you don’t forget.
Top up all of your water features, such as ponds, fountains, and bird baths, regularly. You must also water all of your plants, fruits, and vegetables daily. When watering, try to aim directly for the roots of the plants to avoid dry soil caused by the August heat.
Get Started With The Pruning
Once your summer-flowering shrubs have fully blossomed, it’s important to get started with pruning, ensuring your plants are kept under control. If you have fruit trees, these should be pruned once they are trained. They will then need to remain in the sunlight so that the fruits can ripen.
Lavender should be pruned regularly in August to keep the plant compact and bushy. Plants such as Wisteria will need to be pruned regularly to keep them under control.
Begin Harvesting Your Crops
During the month of August, vegetables such as sweetcorn and courgettes can be harvested. If you are growing potatoes in your garden, these can now be lifted and used for cooking. Potatoes should be stored in a hessian bag to allow the appropriate amount of darkness and ventilation.
Runner beans can now be harvested regularly in order to allow new pods to start growing. This will also prevent the beans from becoming too stringy.
Cut and Dry Your Herbs
During August, it's time to start cutting your herbs, such as sage and rosemary. You can keep your herbs fresh by freezing them. They can then be defrosted and used for cooking and rinks over the coming months.
Dry out any herbs, such as caraway and dill in the garden, keeping them out of direct sunlight. Perennial herbs such as thyme and oregano can be trimmed at this time to promote growth and help with their survival over the winter months.
Deadhead to Encourage New Flowers
Deadheading plants is important to encourage new growth. Remove all deadheads to encourage new flowers to start coming through. This will also prevent your garden from becoming unsightly.
Concentrate on removing all deadheads from perennial plants such as lilies and dahlias. This will promote growth and will keep your plants blossoming for much longer. To remove deadheads, you simply need to pinch the stem underneath the faded flower using your fingers and thumb.
Keep on Top of Your Greenhouse Humidity and Ventilation
August tends to be a hot month in the UK, so you want to ensure your plants aren’t overheating or becoming damaged in your greenhouse. You can easily ventilate the greenhouse by ensuring the vents are open. You can also open the doors on particularly warm August days for additional ventilation.
If you want to further protect your plants from overheating or becoming sun damaged, consider installing some blinds in the greenhouse. You can increase the humidity in the greenhouse on hot days by pouring water across the floor, creating a damp atmosphere.
Watch Out For Blight
It’s important to keep a lookout for blight throughout the month of August. This is especially true when it comes to potatoes and tomatoes. On potatoes, you’ll notice blight appearing in small dark patches on the edges of the potato leaves. Immediately cut the top growth off the plant to prevent this infection blight from spreading further. You’ll then need to wait for two weeks before harvesting them.
For tomatoes, you’ll notice blight appearing in large brown spots on the stems of the plants. As soon as you see this, pull off the infected plants and leave the rest to continue growing. This will stop it from spreading to the unaffected plants.
Mow Your Lawn and Trim The Hedges
In August, you’ll need to do a final trim of all of your hedges before their growth stunts in the winter. When cutting, leave the top of the hedge for last and then rake away all of the fallen twigs and leaves to keep your garden from looking unappealing.
When working on your lawn, avoid using any fertilizers that are high in nitrogen. This will only encourage the grass to grow, which can be damaging over the winter months. The grass will soon start to grow much more slowly, so you'll need to put your lawn mower on a higher cut setting.
Prepare Your Garden Before Going on Holiday
August is the most popular month for holidays. This means that you may be away from home for several days or weeks during this month. Despite this being very exciting, you must not forget to prepare your garden before going away. After all, you don’t want to come back to a damaged or dying garden.
Ask your family members, friends, or a neighbor to see if anyone can come and water your plants while you’re away. If you have any potted plants or flowers, move these into the shade. If you are going away for a longer period of time or you can’t find anybody to come and water your plants, consider investing in an automatic watering system that you can set up for while you’re away. You can also install a drip irrigation system in the greenhouse.
Prepare For the Coming Months
Late August is the time to prepare your garden for the colder months of winter. You can plan your winter garden while enjoying the August sun. Plant some new bulbs such as colchicums and nerines ready for the autumn months.
Prepare your garden ready for winter by planning out your vegetable patches and garden borders. Now is also the best time for planting your winter vegetables, such as cabbage and broccoli, so that they are ready for harvesting in the winter.
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John Carter has been a content and ‘ghostwriter' for many popular online publications over the years. John is now our chief editor at NewsGrab.