You can probably tell by the increase in posts on gardening, that I’m really into it at the moment. In all honesty, our garden is still a mess, but I am making progress with it. I’m enjoying learning how to care for different plants and have been researching what jobs need to be done and when. I thought it might be helpful to share what I’m learning with you on the way, in the form of monthly ‘Jobs to do in the Garden Now’ posts. I’m starting the series with August gardening jobs, I hope you find it useful!
Watering and lots of it!
I’m sure this is a garden job that goes without saying, but keep in mind that you might need to do a lot more watering this month, particularly if you’re growing thirsty plants, like Hydrangea.
We’re due a heatwave today, so I popped into the garden to give my plants a top up watering this morning, otherwise I know my hydrangea would start wilting by the afternoon.
Always try to water your plants either early morning or evening, to avoid scorching leaves.
Continue to Deadhead flowers for a continued crop
Deadheading is very simple and I find the process very therapeutic. I try to pop into the garden each evening to remove fading flowers, before watering. Keeping on top of it regularly means there are only a few to remove each day.
To deadhead your plants, simply pinch or cut off the flower stem below the spent flower and just above the first set of full, healthy leaves.
Collect seeds from your plants
Did you know that when your plants go to seed, you can collect these to plant and make new baby plants? Yay, free flowers!
Just remember to choose a dry day and it’s best to collect them once they have started to dry out on the plant.
You can then either store these in a named envelope, ready for when you need them. Or some flowers can be sowed now, for an early crop next year. Just be sure to do a quick google to find out how and when it’s best to sow that particular plant.
You can trim back your lavender as soon as it finishes flowering. Trimming your lavender bush, helps to keep it compact, with fresh new growth.
At the end of August, remove any spent flower stalks and about 2.5cm of leaf growth. Avoid cutting back woody areas, as these don’t break new growth easily.
If you’re lucky enough to have a wisteria in your garden, now is the time to cut it back!
All pruning starts with the three D’s, so remove all dead, diseased and dying parts of the plant. Next, you cut out the snakes, which are long thin stems, about the thickness of a pencil. Then you move onto the “whips”, which are long, thin new side shoots. These should be cut back to 3 or 4 leaves from the old stem.
Finally, look at where the plant might need extra support or stems that need training in different directions and tie supports accordingly.
I’m currently propagating some wisteria from my parent’s garden, and so I’m hoping wisteria care will be on my list of gardening jobs next year!
Prune Rambling Roses
Rambling roses are perfect for growing over arches and trellises, but can become a bit of a tangled mess if not properly cared for.
To keep yours in check, remove around a third of the stems that have flowered and tie the remaining plant back.
Prune Perennial Herbs
Pruning back perennial herbs, like oregano and thyme before the cooler months, helps to protect them from first frost. Their perennial nature, means they will grow back next spring.
Plant Autumn Bulbs
Onto perhaps the most exciting august gardening jobs on the list! This month is the time to plant bulbs for Autumn flowers. My goal is to have a garden that continues to flower throughout the year, so this makes me excited!
Try planting bulbs such as colchicums, sternbergia and nerines, in pots and borders, ready for November flowers! I have been looking at bulb collections on Sarah Raven, they have a lovely selection.
I think that’s quite enough August gardening jobs to keep us going over the summer. Though I’ve left out perhaps the most important job on the list, which is to relax and enjoy the garden you’ve worked to hard on over the year!
If, like me, you’re already thinking about garden plans for next year, you might like to read my post on beautiful greenhouses. I have my beady eye on one for next year!