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Garden Jobs for August – It’s a Busy Time!

The summer seems to be flying by, many of us are no doubt trying to rescue plants that suffered in the very hot spell in July. It’s also a busy time of year in the garden, plenty of pruning and maintenance to do as well as planning for the autumn. In our garden jobs for August we look at a few of the things that we should be doing this month.

Mow Areas of Wildflower Meadow

In addition to choosing pollinating plants to create a wildlife garden, many gardeners are now designating small areas of their garden as a wildflower meadow. The area doesn’t need to be huge, you can simply remove a small piece of lawned area and sow seeds. Assuming all your flowers have gone, one of our garden jobs for August is to mow the area. 

Make sure you allow time for the flowers to ‘go over’ this means they have had time to self-seed ready for next year, you can help this process by giving the seed heads a quick shake. 

Keep on Top of Watering

Watering may seem straightforward but there is actually a lot to consider including when to water and where. Ideally you should water in the morning as plants need the water as the sun comes up, the evening is also a good time as conditions are cooler but you should avoid the heat of the day as so much water is then lost to evaporation. Remember to try and use rainwater and water at the root of the plant as this is where it is needed. 

Deadhead Flowering Plants

As flowers fade and die it’s important to keep on top of deadheading as this will aid the plant’s energy levels and enable it to keep flowering throughout the summer. Plants in baskets and pots respond particularly well. 

The simplest way to do this is with your finger and thumb but plants with tougher stems (Dahlias), will require scissors or secateurs. Remove the flower and stalk so that the plant remains tidy. 

It’s a good idea to leave the flowers on plants that are loved by birds, this includes Rudbeckia and sunflowers. Some plants are also very kind and do the job themselves, for example, Salvia and Fuchsias. 

Do Any Plants Need Staking

As part of your Garden Jobs for August, if you have dahlias, lilies or other top heavy plants it might be a good idea to check whether they need staking now they are flowering. Wind and rain can cause problems throughout the summer months so it’s always worth doing a quick check around the garden to see if any plants need some support. Many make great cut flowers so if they have fallen over it’s the perfect opportunity to gather them up and take them inside. 

Bear in mind that Dahlias won’t need cutting back until late autumn to allow the stems to go black from the first frost. This allows the plant’s sugars to go back down the stem and feed the tuber. For now just deadhead to encourage flowering to continue.

Cut Back Lavender 

Bees love lavender so it’s important to keep it in good shape ready for next year. Some varieties, like our Lavender Hidcote (English Lavender) are fully hardy so can survive outside during the winter. Others are less hardy so you need to consider protecting them from frosts. It’s important to prune lavender during the summer to keep its compact shape and again in the Autumn. Make sure you don’t cut into old wood though as this can affect flowering the following year. You’ll find more useful information here including a short video guide from Monty Don that shows you how to cut back lavender after flowering.

Cut Back Herbs

As part of your Garden Jobs for August, it is now a good time to cut back herbs to ensure another crop of leaves before the first frosts. If you have too many you can explore freezing them or drying so that they can still be enjoyed throughout the winter. Drying methods include hanging dry, rack drying and oven drying. 

Prepare the Garden if You’re Going Away

If you are planning a holiday you might want to consider how best to keep your garden in great shape for when you return. There are obvious things like mowing the lawn before you go and getting the weeding and deadheading done which is easy to do but keeping your plants watered could be a bit more difficult. 

If you have a friend that can pop round that’s useful, make sure you prepare a list of what needs to be watered and when as different plants have different needs. Remember to show them where your water butt, watering can and hose pipe are!  If you haven’t got someone who can call in there are things that you can do, move pots into more shaded areas and water well, add a saucer so the water can collect and help increase humidity for your plant. You can also add a timer to your sprinkler and purchase an irrigation kit that connects to your hose pipe and can provide a drip, micro jet or greenhouse system. 

Dream of Hellebores

Why not make one of your Garden Jobs for August dreaming of Hellebores! Our Gold Collection is stunning and offers an opportunity for colour in your garden throughout the winter months. Why not take a look and register to get notified as soon as they are available to purchase.You might also like to read our Focus on Delphiniums and our Focus on Dahlias