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Our Anglo-Saxon forbears called August “Weed month” which gives a good indication of what your main job will be this month, but there should be plenty of time for you to sit back and enjoy your garden.

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.

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The Garden CentreTo Visit in Essex

We have parking spaces for up to 450 cars and easy access both onto and off of the A127, which is the main dual-carriage way into Southend-on-Sea. The A127 is off Junction 29 of the M25 which is a 10 minute drive to our door. Plan your visit to Summerhill today. We can’t wait to see you.

Summerhill Garden Centre, Pipps Hill Road North, A127 Arterial Road, Billericay, Essex CM11 2UJ