How can it be August tomorrow? As the new month approaches, here are our top ten tips for keeping your garden in great shape during August:
1. Prune your Wisteria! After it has flowered, cut back all of those "whippy" side shoots to five or six leaves. By doing this, you'll be in control of the size, stopping it from growing into gutters and encouraging flower buds to form.
2. Take advantage of any dry weather by painting up fences and sheds (provided they're greenery free!) before the autumn rain begins! Whether you're a fan of the variety of colours or the more traditional brown available for your fence, make sure any paint/covering you use is within its sell by date and mixes up well.
3. If you've got hanging baskets, nurture them: deadhead, water when necessary and feed to keep them going strong throughout August.
4. Collect seeds from garden plants. Make sure the plants you collect from are sturdy and hearty. This will give you good quality seedlings and eventual plants. The RHS has a good section on how to collect seeds carefully (https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?PID=675)
5. When mowing the lawn, raise your blades. Mow lightly and often. Don't be tempted to use a lawn weedkiller just yet, save that job for the autumn when the cooler, damper weather will be firmly upon us.
6. Even if the lawn looks a bit brown, don't water it unless absolutely necessary. Show a bit of patience and soon the autumn rain will freshen it up.
7. In contrast to the above point...water, water, water...but do it well! Pots, tubs and new plants need a good soaking that will last them rather than a daily surface dampen. As a rule of thumb, for plants in soil, inspect the soil at a spade's depth. Soil that feels damp is unlikely to need water, but if it is dry at this depth, then watering is probably needed.
8. Cut back your herb garden to create another new, fresh crop of leaves ready for harvest before the early frosts. These can then be frozen to use in your cooking during the colder months.
9. Dead head any lilies for a tidy look now and a better display next year.
10. Trim up any lavender bushes to keep them from going woody and rambling.
If you would like any advice or help with building or nurturing your garden, my team and I would be happy to help. Please take a look at what we can do and get in touch.