The fine weather means you can get outside and do all those jobs you’ve been putting off all year! Follow our August gardening tips to help attract more wildlife, prune and trim your more fast-growing plants, and treat your outdoor furniture to resist that winter wind and rain.
- Keep birdbaths and feeders topped up and ensure you clean them regularly.
- Put up a squirrel box filled with squirrel food. Doing this should help keep the squirrels away from your bird feeders.
- Put insect houses in place, ready for the autumn.
- Place a hedgehog house in a sheltered spot and stuff it with straw so they will get used to it before winter sets in. Ensure hedgehogs can access the garden by creating entry points at the base of fences or gates and encourage neighbours to do the same. Hedgehog numbers have declined dramatically, and they need all the help they can get. If you are lucky enough to attract a hedgehog, don’t feed it milk or bread – choose dog food or special hedgehog food instead. Check out more tips for helping hedgehogs thrive here.
Trees, Shrubs and Flowers
- Watering is a priority, especially for new plants and containers.
- Cut back the foliage and stems of herbaceous plants that have finished flowering. Deadhead flowering plants regularly.
- Deadhead, water and feed hanging baskets.
- Cut back hardy geraniums to encourage a further bloom of flowers.
- Trim any topiary plants and shape evergreen hedging.
- Prune climbing and rambling roses as soon as they have finished flowering.
- Remove rose suckers by tearing them away from the rootstock.
- Cut faded Buddleia flowers off to encourage more blooms.
- Prune Wisteria.
- Light prune summer flowering shrubs such as Lavender and Hebes.
- Collect seeds from garden plants.
- Feed containers and even some border perennials that may be lagging. Tomato food is a good option.
- Thoroughly soak any shrubs suffering from signs of drought.
- Raise the blades on your mower in dry weather. Mow lightly and frequently.
- Avoid using lawn weed killers in late summer.
- Don’t water brown patches unless necessary as they will green up with autumn rain.
Fruit and Vegetables
- Prune summer flowering fruits which you have trained or restricted.
- Cut out old fruited canes on raspberries.
- Lift and pot up rooted strawberry runners.
- Cut off tops of cordon tomatoes when they have developed several trusses of lowers. Doing this will concentrate fruit production.
- Sow rainbow chard now for a colourful and useful crop from autumn through to spring.
- Pick courgettes when they are young and tender – the plants will be productive for longer if you harvest regularly.
- Harvest onions and shallots. Store them in paper or hessian for use over the coming months.
- Harvest French and runner beans little and often. Pinch out the tips of runner bean plants when they reach the top of their support.
- Apply a high-potash fertiliser such as tomato food once fruits start to form on pepper, cucumber and aubergine plants.
- Look out for potato and tomato blight and remove and destroy any affected plants immediately to prevent its spread.
- Check for cabbage white fly eggs under the leaves of brassicas and remove them if you find any.
- Cut back herbs to encourage new leaves before the frost.
General Maintenance and Structures
- Treat wooden furniture with teak oil to nourish and condition the wood and enhance its colour.
- Top up water in ponds and water features if the level drops too much.
- Keep watering your garden this month using rainwater or recycled water if possible.
- Keep on top of weeds and use a hoe when it is dry.
- Get rid of algae and moss on patios to prevent them becoming slippery later in the year.
- Check greenhouse guttering, glass panels and roof sheds in preparation for autumn.
We hope you enjoyed our August gardening tips. For more of our gardening articles, please click here.