It’s time for some gardening tips for August. Here are a range of gardening jobs you can do this month to leave you with a regular supply of flowers and veg, as well as keeping your garden looking its best.
Looking after your Sweet Peas
Sweet Peas can continue to flower throughout August but only if you look after them and cut off any flowers that have gone to seed. How to know if they’ve gone to seed is when you see pea pods appearing. Simply snip these off with a pair of scissors. In addition to this, if you regularly pick the flowers when they are in bloom this will encourage further growth too and it will result in lots of bunches of flowers for you and your family to enjoy! Another thing to note about this plant is that it’s a very thirsty one, so keep it well watered, especially in dry spells. If you are growing them in a pot then you will need to water them more often as pot bound plants can get really dry.
Maintaining a regular supply of crops
If you’re growing vegetables, many of them will be producing food you can pick, eat and enjoy. To keep that supply going, pick plants such as courgettes and lettuces while they’re young or small to encourage further growth. Tomatoes, peas and sweetcorn need to be well fed when they’re producing a crop; a tomato food can be used on all three. Runner Beans and French Beans can keep going until early October providing you keep picking and watering them. Beans are great for freezing too if you have a bountiful supply. You can still plant radishes, rocket and lettuce, so get those seeds in now for an end of summer crop.
Hedges and Roses
August is the ideal month to start cutting back those hedges that may have taken over the garden. A great trick for this messy job is to put an old blanket beneath the hedge to catch all the clippings, then you can easily scoop them up and discard. If you’re growing roses, snip any dead flowers off by cutting just above the top leaf on the stem. You don’t need to cut them right back until February or March; deadheading is all you need to do now.
If you’re looking to redesign the layout of your garden next year, now is the time to make a note of those plants that are in full bloom and importantly, where they are located. You may want to move them to a different location as part of your new garden design or even remove them entirely if you’re not keen. For those of you that have a water butt, start using it to water the garden. When it’s empty give it a good clean out to remove any dirt that might be lurking in the bottom. Don’t forget you can use your old washing up water on plants too, which is a great way to recycle it and water your plants at the same time!