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  • Gardening Tips for August Posted on 19 August 2017

    August is the month of early morning watering in the garden and evening pottering as the sun goes down. The warmth at this time of year means enjoying the fruits of your labour with a drink in hand is more favourable than getting dirty. Keep on top of deadheading, collect seeds for next year whilst listening to the birds. There is nothing more beautiful than morning time in the garden at this time of year.

     

    Plants & Flowers

     

    There is always pruning to be done, even in the heat of the Summer. Now is a good time to prune Wisteria in preparation for a burst of blooms next year. Along with Wisteria, rambling Roses can be pruned and to keep those gorgeous flowers coming ensure you deadhead other garden roses. I always leave some Roses that produce gorgeous hips because of their Winter interest and for wildlife to enjoy.

     

    If you have a patio or pathway which needs weeding a great way to control it is to pour boiling water over the weeds growing between any cracks or holes. In general you will see the weeds wilting and die off in only a couple of days. Not to be used on grass or in borders but on a paved area it can really help to control the constant need for weeding.

     

    Time to think ahead! Hyacinths and mini Daffodils can be potted up to give you a beautiful display for later in the year. As soon as they are showing about 2.5cm of growth move them into a cool room. When it’s time to put on a festive flower display, move them back into a warm room and enjoy!

     

    Fruit & Vegetables

     

    There is still time to plant out some Winter vegetables. If you haven’t already found space for your Brassicas such as Cabbages, Cauliflower, Sprouts and Broccoli, make sure you get them in place this month. Don’t forget caterpillars will be quite happy munching on them as well, so ensure they are covered in net to keep the cabbage white butterfly away. Check the undersides of the leaves regularly for signs of eggs.

     

    August is a great month for harvesting. From sweetcorn to runner beans, main crop potatoes, salads and plenty of juicy fruit. Remember to think about how and where you will store your crops and what delicious recipes to cook with them. Generally they will need a cool dry place to ensure they are kept in good condition for as long as possible.

     

    If you have laid straw around your strawberries to keep the fruits dry and suppress weeds, now is the time to remove old dirty straw away from the bed and just leave a thin layer of clean straw behind. This helps to prevent pests and diseases and allows you to weed and replace plants preparing your strawberries for next year.  

     

     

    Wildlife 

     

    It’s absolutely fascinating, magical even, watching bats on a summer evening when they are at their most active. Just after sunset, enjoy their silhouettes in the sky in woodlands and large gardens. They do need homes, just like birds do, so putting up a bat box in your garden which may provide a home to Pipistrelles or Brown Long Eared bats is a great idea and fun for kids to do as well. They eat thousands of mosquitos and other bugs each night, so it’s well worth encouraging them into our gardens. 

    A little pond upkeep is a good idea this month as the warm, sunny weather can contribute to blanket and duck weed in the water. Remove this with some net as soon as you can to keep the water clear and clean. Remove faded, dead or damaged flowers and leaves from aquatic and marginal plants as well. 

     

    It’s a good idea to just allow some flowers and a few vegetables to run to seed. Some of the flowers are actually very attractive and can provide food for birds and other creatures over the months ahead. Some seedbeds do give good coverage rather than having bare soil.

     

    Whats on

     

    The Millennium Garden at Pensthorpe is one of my favourite Norfolk gardens. It is awash with stunning colours, wispy grasses and paths winding through stunning planting. A day out at Pensthorpe will keep you, the kids and just about anyone very happy! Plus it’s all about nature. It’s a great chance to see Piet Ouldolfs landscape designing at its very best. 

    www.pensthorpe.com 

     

     

    Product of the month

     

    If you dont fancy trying to make your own bat box, why not put this superb Bat Conservation approved box up from Ark Wildlife. With chambers for multiple species, you could be watching them swoop above your garden on a summers evening. www.arkwildlife.co.uk 

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