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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.

Rain it may in August but it’s likely you’ll still need to water containers on days between showers so it’s a good idea to have stored rainwater or use ‘grey’ water – recycled from sinks, baths and washing machines. August is the time to collect seeds from garden plants, not only saving money but giving you the pleasure of sowing from your own harvested stock. If you have not succumbed to summer laziness (and why not if you just want time to enjoy the garden?) there’s always plenty to do with deadheading, taking cuttings, trimming hedges, planting autumn flowering bulbs such as Colchicums and Nerines, feeding Agapanthus and summer pruning mature rambling roses, Wisteria and summer flowering shrubs. Then there’s potting chrysanthemums, Freesias, Hyacinths and Primulas….

  • Collect seeds from flowering plants
  • Move self-sown seedlings to where you want them
  • Take cuttings of tender perennials and silver-leaved plants
  • Take rose cuttings 
  • Cut back violas and pansies and pot up rooted pieces
  • Repot Azaleas 
  • Sow hardy annuals at the end of the month for flowering next year      
  • Top up ponds, water hanging baskets and feed container plants 

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