Top tips for your garden this August
Wed 26 Jul 2017
Don’t worry if your lawn is looking brown, it is extremely common with the hot summer weather (well, maybe not this week…) The autumn rains will soon make it green again, so avoid watering the grass unless it is absolutely necessary.
Mow your lawn lightly and frequently to create short grass clippings. These can remain on the lawn to act as a moisture-retentive mulch during the summer months.
Lawn weedkillers should be avoided in late summer as they will be more effective when used in the cooler, damper autumn weather.
Pruning and Training
Regularly deadhead flowering plants – Dahlias, roses and Penstemon should be deadheaded to encourage a display of colour into early autumn.
Prioritise cutting back the foliage and stems of herbaceous plants that have already died back.
Once lavender has stopped flowering, trim to maintain a condensed, bushy shape.
Prune Wisteria to improve flowering, whilst controlling the growth and size of the plant.
Collect seeds from garden plants and store for sowing later in the autumn – hardy annuals and perennials are ideal. Try Calendula, Nigella, Aquilegia and Geranium.
Throughout the late summer keep camellias and rhododendrons well-watered while their flower buds are forming.
Feed containers and border perennials with a liquid tomato food weekly to encourage flowering into the early autumn.
Harvest sweetcorn and other vegetables as they become ready.
Plant well-rooted strawberry runners into new beds.
Keep a look out for signs of tomato and potato blight. Remove the affected plants immediately to prevent it spreading.
The hot weather means that water levels will be lower this time of year. Ensure that ponds and water features are topped up.
Shallow water features can become green very quickly in the summer months and algicides may need more frequent application than in ordinary ponds.
Blanket weed and duckweed should continue to be removed using a net or rake.
(Image: Chelsea Physic Garden, London)