Gardening by Month - August
August is a great time to enjoy your garden. If you don’t want to say goodbye to your flowering plants yet, with a little effort, you can achieve a longer flowering period for many garden favourites.
Carry on watering and feeding container plants to help them keep on blooming. Other jobs include deadheading bedding plants to encourage more flowers. Take off the heads of flowering perennials, cutting back stems to encourage new blooms.
Decide which bulbs you would like so you can start planting in late August or September. There are so many types available including daffodils, snowdrops, crocus and tulips which will reward your effort with welcome colour early next year. As the first ones become available, plant bowls and containers for an early spring display. Plant Madonna lilies now, since they will put on leaves in the autumn, as well as leucojums and in a sunny corner, Amaryllis belladonna.
For lovely bushy lavender plants, cut the stems back as the flowers fade. Shorten the new shoots but don’t cut into old wood. Try to keep the sides of the plant bushy too.
Remove faded flowers and seed pods from fuchsia plants. The flowers last about ten days and if the seed pods are left on, the energy of the plant will go on seed production and it will stop flowering. Pinch out the growing tips of fuchsias as this will increase the number of shoots available for cuttings.
Prune wisteria to encourage flowering and prevent rampant growth. Cut down straggly new growth to 2-3 leaves from the base. Flowered herbs such as thyme and lavender need a trim to stop them becoming woody. Give evergreen hedges a shape and tidy up.
Once you’ve harvested the fruit, summer pruning of fruit trees will channel water and energy into fruit production particularly figs and apple trees and helps prevent silver leaf disease in plums and cherries.
Feed your lawn with a summer dressing and water well. This will give it the energy to cope with the heat of the summer and also the onset of the cooler months. If you trim hedges this month it allows new growth to ripen before winter. Conifer hedges can have their annual trim this month to prevent them becoming overgrown.
Enjoy your summer garden and until next month, happy gardening!