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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.

Thursday 3 August 2017

This Month in Your Garden - August

"Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability." - Sam Keen

Whilst August is usually the hot month, the long range forecast tells us we may have seen the highest temperatures back in July. Certainly we have had a fair bit of rain in the past weeks and more coming our way.  With the rain we have also observed plenty of weeds growing such as Calystegia sepium and Convolvulus arvensis, better known as Bindweed, rapidly twist its way around roses, vines and tall shrubs, strangling the plants as it reaches for the sky with not unattractive white flowers.

It’s hard to eradicate with cultural methods, with its creeping deep rooted rhizomes and may need a glyphosphate such as Roundup to deal with it. The problem with a non-selective weedkiller is the danger of killing plants around the weed. Hoeing at the base now, and then digging out the roots in autumn is a good alternative and placing tall bamboo canes for the Bindweed to grow up, where it can then be safely sprayed, is another tip.

The Lawn Care Guide - August

‘A lawn is nature under totalitarian rule’ Michael Pollan

If you’re in an area where there has been little or no rainfall and drought is causing your fine lawn to brown, raise the height on your garden tractor cutting deck or lawn mower. Better still, if you have a mulching deck use that to let grass clippings act as protective mulch. It all helps to reduce drought stress.

Last month we talked about watering the lawn in times of drought. If you prefer not to water and the grass is browning it will recover when the rains come. What you can do is begin a regime in the autumn to help reduce browning next year. Scarifying, aerating and ensuring good drainage will help reduce thatch, moss and soil compaction in preparation for the season.

Lawn Care: Questions and Answers

Q. I have mole hills appearing on my lawn, making a real mess. Is there a product I can use to get rid of the mole.

The Vegetable Plot - August

We’re rooting for you

If you’re wondering what to do with that spare bit of ground or border and haven’t grown vegetables before why not give it a go? There’s plenty you can easily sow this month and a good place to start is with fast growing lettuces such as ‘Little Gem’ and ‘Tom Thumb’. Move on to cauliflower, red cabbage, spinach and turnips and you’ll soon be producing crops for the table.

Chinese cabbage and Chinese Kale are great for autumn salads and stir fries. Land cress, radishes and endive are easy to grow and delicious to eat. It’s not too late to grow carrots but watch out for carrot fly when thinning the plants. Radichio can be sown outside now for autumn salads and winter hardy spring onions such as ‘White Lisbon’ can be direct sown for cropping next spring.

The Big Glut Recipe - August

Chicken with chorizo, peppers and sage with spiced aubergine

A tasty summery meal for four, with a little fiery kick from the chorizo. Nice to eat out on a warm evening. Recipe by Angela Hartnett, Saturday Kitchen Best Bites.


For the chicken

  • 1 large corn-fed chicken, jointed into 8 pieces
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 110g/4oz chorizo, peeled and sliced
  • 3 red peppers, cut into 2.5cm/1in squares
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1-2 tbsp chopped fresh sage
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 lemon, juiced, zested