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.

Wednesday 8 August 2018

Lawn care: Questions and Answers

Q. When considering top dressing for the lawn, what is the ratio of soil sharp sand and multi-purpose compost for me to mix?

Wednesday 1 August 2018

This Month in Your Garden – August

"Summer's lease hath all too short a date." – William Shakespeare

We British complain. It’s too cold, too wet, too dry, too hot. Certainly the latter has applied on the hottest days of this summer’s heat wave as far as carrying out any but the simplest of garden tasks.

Even ambling around the garden with a pair of secateurs and deadheading roses, to bring on a second flush of blooms, has encouraged retreat beneath the parasol and a grasp for a cool drink. Hopefully all the good work you put into the garden in earlier months has come to fruition with bold, colourful displays in borders.

The Lawn Care Guide – August

“A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing, and the lawn mower is broken.” – James Dent

There hasn’t been much call for mowing the lawn these past weeks unless you have a regime of keeping it watered, growing, green and needing cutting. If you have cut you will have raised the height on the mower or cutting deck on the garden tractor to reduce drought stress.

Mow lightly, frequently and ideally with a mulching deck or mower to leave the cuttings finely chopped to act as a mulch and retain moisture.

Lawn Care: Questions and Answers

Q. We have areas of dead grass in rings right next to the green grass. What is this and what can we do?

The Vegetable Plot – August

“Salad days.”

Shakespeare’s expression for a youthful time implies inexperience but those in the know will be taking the last chance in August and planting salads. Little Gem and Tom Thumb lettuces, mustard and cress, radishes - hurry, sow and shade seedlings from the sun and heat.

If you have an established vegetable plot you’ll be enjoying your salads, the lettuces, rocket, tomatoes, beetroot and second-early potatoes. How about a Caesar or a Salad Nicoise?

The Big Glut Recipe – August

Caesar Salad with chicken

A slightly different take on the Caesar salad borrowed from Delicious Magazine


  • Large, 1.7kg free-range chicken
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lemon, cut into 4 wedges
  • 6 smoked streaky bacon rashers
  • 3 thick slices white bread or a small ciabatta loaf, cut into 1.5cm cubes
  • 1 romaine lettuce, roughly torn into pieces
  • Handful rocket leaves