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Friday 2 August 2019

This Month in Your Garden - August

'Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it'. Russel Baker

Vacation or staycation, holiday time needs a bit of planning. If you’re away is there someone who could lend a hand in your garden to water and keep things ticking over? If it’s a large garden with lots to do it may be worth getting a local company in and they can be sorting out borders and planting while you’re putting your feet up on a sunbed in some tropical paradise.

No? OK so you’re staying at home and collecting seed pods and planning next year’s display by sowing hardy annuals. Picking cut flowers and deadheading will prolong the flowering season and taking cuttings of tender perennials such as pelargoniums, argyranthemums and verbenas, will ensure your supply of plants for next year. Pinks and carnations can be layered to propagate them or you can take cuttings as you can for Aubretia, Dianthus and Helianthemum. Weeds are not too much of a worry now but keep hoeing and leave them on the surface to dehydrate and die. If you feel like a bit of sowing, annuals like Clarkia, cyclamen and stocks can go in.

A tip for Brompton stocks is to sow them in John Innes seed compost in pots. Prune rambling roses over three years old and prune wisteria and pyracantha. Earwigs like to make a meal of your Dahlias. An upturned pot filled with straw on a bamboo cane near the plants will entice them in and you can empty the pot in the morning.  Don’t forget to water the hanging baskets and containers. 

  • Trim back lavender
  • Pot Chrysanthemums. Cyclamen, Freesias, Hyacinths, Primulas  
  • Cut back herbaceous plants that have flowered
  • Look after hanging baskets and containers, feed and water them
  • Collect seed from aquilegias and Calendula (pot marigolds)
  • Take fuchsia cuttings
  • Sow hardy annuals directly into borders towards the end of the month
  • Stake larger flowering Dahlias and watch out for earwigs
  • Cut back pansies and violas
  • Start Madonna lilies (Lilium candidum) and arum lilies (Zantedeschia aethiopica) into growth.

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