Gardening advice for August
By Paul Hervey-Brookes
Dry soil, uninspiring light, plants on a downhill slope? Yes, that's right…August has arrived.
There are remedies to keep your garden looking good. Deadhead, remove brown leaves and seed heads. Change your planting to drought tolerant planting or use oily coated plants to screen out the suns rays or with the planting that you already have water.
Water thoroughly and deeply in the morning or early afternoon so the soil has a chance to warm up before the cooler evening hours.
Raise the blades on your lawnmower to help reduce stress and feed lawns with a high phosphate feed to toughen roots for winter. Tip for a newly sown or turfed lawn. Place a jam jar in the middle of the lawn, turn on the sprinkler and when the jar has 1/2 inch of water in it has had sufficient water.
Hanging baskets and containers require daily watering. Test below the surface of the soil with your finger to make sure the soil is damp. Water but do not overwater. For true blue hydrangeas next year water them with a hydrangea colourant.
Photograph your garden and then sit down and look at new planting ideas to implement in the Spring. Keep the garden tidy, trim lawn edges, pick up fallen leaves and trim up your hedges. Collect seed heads from your favourite plants but leave the ornamental grasses as they will provide added interest through Winter months. Look at sheds and greenhouses to see if they need any repairs before the Autumn rains.
Pay close attention to your veg plot as you now will be able to reap the benefit of all your hard work with an abundance of fresh vegetables and salad items. Some of these can be frozen or pickled for use later in the year.
And lastly it wont be long before Autumn and Winter plant ideas can be set in motion, think about new paths, edging and potential raised beds you might want to add over the next few months.
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