Monday, 13 August 2012
Top 20 Tasks for August in the garden
1. Weed strawberry beds and cut off old leaves from your strawberry plants to keep plants healthy. You need to replace your strawberry plants every year, so plant out pot grown rooted runners in a new bed next month.
2. The end of August is the ideal time to sow grass seed and repair any bare patches
3. This month, store all apples, pears and plums
4. August is a good time to get ahead by planting hardy annuals instead of waiting for the spring. They can easily be transplanted in the spring. You may lose a few during the winter, but those that do survive will be stronger than those sown in spring. Choose cornflowers, Nigella, larkspur, scabious, eschscholtzia and Shirley poppies.
5. Prune rambler roses shortly after the blooms have faded. Detach shoots from their supports. You can use these as cuttings to form roots in jars of water.
6. Clip hedges
7. Plant early flowering bulbs – crocus, squill, winter aconite, chionodoxa and snowdrops.
8. After the last crop of broad beans, cut down the stems to a few inches of the ground, fork the surface around them and water thoroughly. A fresh crop of new shoots will shortly appear producing a second crop of small beans which should be harvested regularly.
9. Boil rhubarb leaves. Use the water as a spray against aphids.
10. Bend onion leaves over at the neck to check further growth and encourage ripening.
11. Harvest spring onions and sow onions for next year’s crop.
12. Sow winter spinach.
13. Pot bulbs of hyacinth, narcissus and early daffodils.
14. Take cuttings of lavender, berberis, aucubas and ceanothus and keep in a cold frame where they will soon root.
15. Clean and paint your greenhouse.
16. Deadhead regularly to encourage flowering to go on longer.
17. Continue hoeing to keep the weeds down.
18. Check fencing and trellis are secure for the winter months.
19. Keep alpine plants tidy by cutting back the stems.
20. Give scruffy bedding plants, such as nemesia and lobelia a trim to keep them producing more flowers by cutting back the plants with secateurs to about half their height.
-- Rob Amey