The Gardener's Journal is a free monthly gardening guide delivered direct to your inbox.

Each month, receive tips on the top jobs needed in your garden as well as a wealth of information on a range of gardening topics. From sowing seeds to picking fruit, each month get access to information on the care and maintenance of your flowerbeds, vegetable plot and lawn. As with your own gardening diary, the journal is split into separate sections, each covering a different area of garden care.

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

This Month in your Garden - August

Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.

Henry James

If your July has been as hot and dry as ours you will already have a watering regime, remembering to water the hanging baskets that often get missed, saturating the lawn intermittently and keeping borders and containers well watered.

Water shortages though may have you turning to the water butt catching water from the shed, greenhouse or downpipe. But if there is little or no rain your supply can quickly dry up. Depending on your house and garden situation it’s worth investigating grey water. That’s where you divert the water from the bath, kitchen sink and washing machine (not toilet or nappy water) to the garden.

Lawn Care Guide - August

Tops off or top dressing


There usually is not a great deal of mowing to be done in August. The mower will be set at the summer height of cut and adjusted according to growth, as will the frequency of mowing.

So you’ll probably just be enjoying the lawn, playing games, re-positioning the sun loungers, throwing the ball for the dog. All of which takes its toll and can cause compaction, leading to lack of water reaching the grass roots, a build-up of thatch and even the right conditions for moss to develop come autumn and winter.

Lawn Care: Questions & Answers

Q. We have noticed at the bowling green the grass is becoming patchy in places and our own lawn has similar brown patches, what causes this?

The Vegetable Plot - August

Sow and go


Should you be feeling energetic and inclined there’s plenty of sowing and growing you can do. Fast-growing lettuces such as Little Gem and ‘Tom Thumb’ will keep your salads coming.

Sowing cauliflower, endive, cress, red cabbage, spinach, turnips and radishes will add to your vegetable platters while Chinese cabbage and Chinese Kale make great autumn salads and stir-fries.

The Big Glut Recipe - August

Puy lentil, red onion, tomato and sundried tomato salad with feta cheese, for two


A bit of a mouthful and it is just that and very tasty. The recipe comes from two sources, Ainsley Harriot’s Barbecue Bible and Delicious Magazine, with the twist of using the ready cooked lentils that come in a vacuum pouch.

Ingredients
1 large red onion finely chopped
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp red wine vinegar
1-2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar to taste
1 garlic clove, chopped
200g – 225g Puy lentils ready prepared
100g (4oz) feta cheese, crumbled
50g (2oz) of sun dried tomatoes, chopped
2-3 cherry tomatoes, quartered, from your garden (or bought)
3 tbs flat leaf parsley
Salt & freshly ground pepper
A little grated lemon zest (optional)
A squeeze of lemon juice (optional)