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AUGUST UK

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General

  • Harvest fruit, vegetables and herbs while they are in prime condition. Freeze, store or give away produce if you cannot use it all immediately.
     
  • Check regularly to see if new plants need water. New plantings are all particularly vulnerable and may need water every day.
     
  • Check regularly to see if hanging baskets and small containers need watering. They may need watering every day in hot weather.
     
  • Mulch while the soil is moist to reduce the need for watering and to keep down weeds.
     
  • Weed and deadhead plants regularly, checking for pests and diseases at the same time.
     
  • Collect ripe seeds before they fall, dry then sow or store for sowing in spring.
     
  • Give conifer hedges their annual trim and reduce the growth on new spring-planted conifers to make a thicker hedge.
     
  • Propagate Conifers from cuttings
     
  • Check for reversion on variegated shrubs and trees and remove all green shoots.
     
  • Hand weed heather beds and replace mulch if necessary.
     
  • Adjust supports as plants grow.
     
  • Cut herbs for drying.
     
  • Take cuttings of mint, thyme, sage and rosemary for planting out in January.
     
  • Gather aromatic leaves and flowers to dry for pot pourri.
     
  • Tidy the pool by deadheading marginal aquatic plants and removing excess growth from submerged oxygenating plants.
     
  • Top up garden pools to replace water lost through evaporation.
     
  • Organise basic care for your garden before you go on holiday. Watering and harvesting are the tasks that need attention.
     
  • Sow green manures.

Greenhouse

  • When the greenhouse is least used during the summer and before taking plant cuttings, repair, clean and disinfect the greenhouse. Place plants outside temporarily during this operation.
     
  • Take cuttings of carnations, fuchsias, herbs and many shrubs and perennials to root in the greenhouse.
     
  • Propagate pelargoniums
     
  • Propagate Houseplants

Vegetable Garden

  • Harvest and dry onions, shallots and garlic in a frame before storing.
     
  • Sow cabbages (spring and red), cauliflowers, corn sald, endive, lettuce, (cos and butterhead), onions, radishes, spinach and turnips.
     
  • Sow over-wintering onions, such as Japanese varieties, for harvesting early next summer.
     
  • Pinch out side shoots from tomatoes.
     
  • Support beans and peas with canes.
     
  • Mulch runner beans.
     
  • Hoe between veg to prevent weeds taking hold.
     
  • Cut cucumbers and pinch back shoots.
     
  • Harvest vegetables as they ripen. (It's especially important to harvest courgettes and beans while they are young and tender)
     
  • Cut culinary herbs and dry or freeze to use later in the year.
     
  • Make sure leafy vegetables such as lettuces and spinach, fruiting crops such as tomatoes and marrows, and peas and beans as their pods begin to swell, get sufficient water.

Fruit Garden

  • Pinch out the growing tips of outdoor tomato plants to encourage rapid development of the fruits on the top trusses and prevent any more tomatoes forming that will not have time to ripen.
     
  • Increase and harvest your crop of tomatoes.
     
  • Pick soft fruit and prune after picking.
     
  • Prune espalier and cordon-grown apple and pear trees.
     
  • Propagate strawberries from runners.
     
  • Plant summer varieties of strawberries to crop next year.
     
  • Look out for caterpillars on fruit. Pick off any with leaf miner larvae or mildew on and be on the alert for slugworm damage. Set pheremone traps.
     
  • Thin peaches, apricots and green gooseberries; if mildew appears on gooseberries, prune out worst infected shoots and water well at the roots.
     
  • Prune raspberry canes at ground level after picking the last fruit.
     
  • Pick early apples and pears. They can be prone to pests and diseases. Remove fallen leaves and dropped fruit to prevent these spreading.
     
  • Cut off strawberry leaves after picking fruit and plant out new strawberry plants.
     
  • Support plum branches and pick ripe fruit.

Flower Garden

  • Order spring-flowering bulbs to plant in the autumn.
     
  • Plant dwarf bulbous irises for winter colour.
     
  • Plant autumn-flowering bulbs such as amaryllis, nerines, colchicums and autumn crocuses.
     
  • Sow spring-flowering biennials such as forget-me-nots, sweet williams and wallflowers.
     
  • Pinch out the growing tips of walflowers for bushy plants.
     
  • Deadhead roses to encourage repeat flowering unless the roses are being grown for the colour and profusion of their hips.
     
  • Water plants growing in containers regularly.
     
  • Pinch out the tips of dahlias to promote bushy plants.
     
  • Deadhead regularly to encourage more flowers unless you want seeds or hips to form.
     
  • Prune summer-flowering shrubs over three years old as they finish flowering.

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(c) Compiled by B V & T M Wood.

 

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