‘Dry August and warm doth harvest no harm’
Capillary matting in the greenhouse with a ‘wick’ immersed in trays or pails of water can help keep vulnerable plants watered. If you’re not away but have time off, take advantage of the good weather and treat the shed, fences and wooden features with a preservative or paint.
If you have planted for a colourful display you’ll be enjoying lilies, sunflowers, pelargoniums and salvias. Have a look in the borders for seedlings you want to keep and perhaps move to other areas: aquilegias, pot marigolds (Calendula) so called because they were used for cooking. Collect seeds from flowering plants and cuttings from tender perennials for next year’s display of fuchsias and verbena. If you have Wisteria, prune it.
Sow hardy annuals directly into borders towards the end of the month to flower next year. Watch out for earwigs on your Dahlias and stake the larger flowering plants. An upturned pot filled with straw on a bamboo cane near the plants will entice the earwigs and you can empty the pot in the morning.
Deadhead roses to encourage more flowers through the autumn. Cut back pansies and violas to promote basal growth. Start Madonna lilies (Lilium candidum) and arum lilies (Zantedeschia aethiopica) into growth. If you like dried flowers for decoration cut Hydrangeas, honesty (Lunaria) for the translucent seed pods and Helichrysum. Harvest your salads and enjoy eating in the open.
- Cut back herbaceous plants that have flowered
- Look after hanging baskets and containers, feed and water them
- Layer pinks and carnations to propagate them
- Take cuttings of Aubretia, Dianthus and Helianthemum
- Sow Brompton stocks in John Innes seed compost in pots
- Take cuttings of pelargoniums, hydrangeas and half-hardy plants as well as alpines.
- Sow annuals such as Clarkia, cyclamen and stocks for winter flowering.
- Prune Pyracantha and Wisteria
- Prune rambling roses older than three years
- Pot Chrysanthemums. Cyclamen, Freesias, Hyacinths, Primulas