‘If the twenty-fourth of August be fair and clear, then hope for a prosperous autumn that year.’
It’s seedling recognition time. If you have grown cottage garden plants you’ll get to know the seedlings as they appear, aquilegias, foxgloves, red valerian (Centranthus), pot marigolds (Calendula), opium poppies and many others self seed around the garden and are worth leaving where they are or moving for next year’s display.
You can also collect ripe seeds from flowering plants and take cuttings of tender perennials such as fuchsias, verbenas and salvias, and silver-leaved plants.
Hardy plants and bedding plants can be ‘struck’ in sandy soil, using hormone rooting powder if you wish. Take rose cuttings such as Bourbon China. Now don’t let it all be work, enjoy the garden you’ve created or developed even though there is plenty to be done.
Alright, you can’t resist so here are a few more August jobs in the offing, following on from July. You can increase your violas or pansies by cutting back hard, cover with a fine soil and sand mix to encourage growth and then pot up rooted pieces.
More cuttings: pelargonium’s, hydrangeas and half-hardy plants as well as alpines. Re-pot Azaleas now and take chrysanthemum buds to ensure the good buds for flowering, that is remove all shoots and buds below them. Continue removing faded flowers and runners.
Water borders and keep an eye out for pests like earwigs that can devastate your Dahlias. If you have a Camellia to move do so now. Complete trimming hedges, evergreen shrubs and topiary by the end of the month before any frosts.
Well that’s a good start to August, plenty more to do but what about a nice barbecue and a glass of whatever pleases you......?
- Sow annuals such as Clarkia, cyclamen and stocks for winter flowering.
- Pot chrysanthemums. Cyclamen, Freesias, Hyacinths, Primulas
- Re-pot and start arum lilies
- Plant Madonna lilies
- Plant autumn flowering bulbs: Colchicums, Nerines
- Sow left over half-hardy annual seeds into containers for a late display
- Pot winter flowering begonias
- Cut back pelargoniums
- Feed agapanthus with high potassium tomato food to encourage bud formation