How about a BBQ on your lush green lawn featuring vegetables grown on your vegetable patch or on your patio? Sounds good, doesn’t it? All we need is for the weather to be kind.
August is the month in which the Spring bulbs start arriving in the Garden Centre so as you sit in the sun (hopefully!) you can plan which to buy for a colourful Spring next year. Amongst the bulbs there will be Autumn Crocus (Colchicum, Sativus & Sternbergia) to give a display later in this year, of beautiful pink, white and yellow flowers and in the case of the Colchicums before the leaves appear which is why they are called “Naked Ladies”.
August, of course, is the time for holidays as the children are not at school, so you should make arrangements, if possible, for your containers and hanging baskets at least, to be watered in your absence. If you can, move them into a shaded site to mimimise, as far as possible, the amount of water they will need. Leave cutting the lawn until the last minute so it is not over-long when you return.
Things to do during August
Good weather means you will need to do more watering especially hanging baskets and containers. Containers and hanging baskets will need feeding, as will beds, borders and the vegetable plot.
Any shrubs which have finished flowering can be pruned now and camellias and rhododendrons dead- headed.
Bedding plants and perennials should be dead headed also, to encourage them to flower on into the autumn.
Tall or top-heavy flowers such as dahlias will need staking to prevent them being damaged by wind or rain.
As lavenders finish flowering trim them back to keep compact and cut back other herbs to ensure fresh supplies of leaves.
Once a wisteria has finished flowering remove all the whippy side shoots from the main branch to about 5 leaves.
A tomato feed such as Tomorite can be used on peppers, cucumber, and aubergines as well as tomatoes.
Remove the lower leaves of tomatoes and pinch out the tops to concentrate the growth into the existing fruits.
Carrots, beetroot and second early potatoes will be ready for harvesting now.
Main crop potatoes will also become ready this month as will onions and shallots.
You can also continue to sow radishes, spinach, and turnips.
What to grow from seed during August
For both containers and borders, you can grow undercover, Pansies and Violas
Directly where they are to grow, Calendula (Marigold), Cornflowers, Eschscholzia (California poppy), Larkspur, and Poppies
Undercover for the vegetable plot, Chervil, Coriander, Parsley, and Winter lettuce
Outdoors you can sow, Corn salad, Endive, Land cress, Leaf Beet, Lettuce, Pak Choi, Salad leaves, Spinach, Spring onions, and Raddichio
This is the last month for Spring Cabbage and Turnips
Wildlife Gardening for August
Continue to feed the birds.
Keep bird baths clean and full of fresh water. Check regularly in hot weather.
Adult frogs/toads will leave the pond this month.
Marigolds planted around vegetable plots will attract hoverflies which eat aphids.
Leave hedges untrimmed longer to provide shelter and food for wildlife.
Allow some seed heads to develop as food for birds.
If you have roses which produce hips don’t dead-head them.
Choose annuals/perennials for next year to attract pollinating insects.