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Jobs for August 2023

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Flowers

Check pots and hanging baskets every day for watering. Feed flowering plants weekly with a liquid fertilizer such as Tomorite.

Dead head flowers frequently, prune Penstemons down to a new bud, to encourage fresh flowers. Pick off any dead leaves to tidy them up. Stake top heavy Dahlias and Lilies and tie in climbers.

Check roses for aphids (greenfly) and blackspot while dead heading so they can be treated promptly before they become a problem. Spray using Rose Clear if necessary.

Prune summer flowering shrubs once the blooms fade. Trim back Lavender after flowering to keep it bushy.

Keep Rhododendrons and Camellias watered this month, as next years flower buds are forming now.

Finish dividing Bearded Iris so they have time to grow before winter.

 

Vegetables

Watering regularly, remember a good soaking weekly is better than a light sprinkle daily.

Feed fruiting vegetables such as tomatoes, courgettes and squashes regularly with tomato feed.

Carry on pinching out side shoots and tying up tomatoes, and remove the tops from tomatoes to encourage all the fruit to ripen before the weather cools down, water carefully to prevent splitting and blossom-end rot.

Pinch out runner beans and climbing French beans when they reach the top of their supports to encourage side shoots to grow.

Pick crops such as courgettes, beans and peas frequently to keep them coming. Check for Cabbage White butterfly eggs on the underside of brassica leaves and squash before they hatch.

Keep hoeing off weeds. The dry surface soil left after hoeing acts as a mulch, reducing water loss.

Lift and dry onions for the winter.

Stake winter brassicas firmly before the autumn gales wreak havoc.

Sow winter salad leaves, spinach, spinach beet, turnips, radish, parsley, kohl rabi, kale, and spring cabbage for crops through the autumn and winter.

Enjoy the summer glut while it lasts.

Greenhouse Sow some French beans or mangetout in pots to plant out for a late autumn crop. Use yellow sticky traps to reduce whitefly and aphid numbers.

Leave doors and windows open on hot summer nights, so the plants don’t cook early in the morning.

 

Fruit

Protect ripening fruit from the birds.

Plant out strawberries for next years crop.

 

General Tips

Don’t let weeds set seeds. Remember one year’s seeds are ten years’ weeds; it is easiest to hoe them off while still small.

Spray Ground elder and other perennial weeds with glyphosate weed killer, to kill them at the roots.

Cut back herbs to encourage a new flush of leaves.

Don’t worry if your lawn is looking brown, it will soon green up when the autumn rains start. Keeping the blades high on the mower will help to keep the lawn looking greener.

Prepare areas for new lawn now ready to sow in the autumn.

Give hedges a final trim before they stop growing.

Take photos of the garden now to help rearranging it once it has died down, and for guidance with spaces to plant spring flowering bulbs.

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