Your Garden In AUGUST
YOUR GARDEN IN AUGUST
Choose the right plants and fill your late summer garden with butterflies
It's August and the schools are on holiday. Your garden might be busier than usual with children or grandchildren hopefully playing outdoors in the sunny weather. There are a few routine jobs you can be doing whilst keeping an eye on the youngsters or, better still, you can ask them to help.
We never know what the weather has in store for us, but the chances are that in August you will need to keep on top of your watering, particularly new plantings and container displays. Little ones will enjoy filling watering cans from water butts and helping with this. Keep up your deadheading regime too, to keep your containers looking good for longer, and feed with a liquid fertiliser once a fortnight.
Keep borders looking at their best by continuing to deadhead perennials, then cutting them back once they've faded. As Penstemons stop flowering, you can cut them back to just above a leaf which might encourage more flowers. Prune climbing and rambling roses once they've finished flowering, unless of course they are repeat flowering varieties.
If you're suffering with perennial weeds like ground elder, now is a good time to spray them with a glyphosate-based weed-killer as the plants will have lots of leaf surface area to absorb the chemical. Be sure to protect nearby cultivated plants or try using a gel product which is easier to apply more precisely. The evening is the best time for spraying as more of the chemical will be absorbed by the foliage rather than evaporating.
If there are gaps in your border, maybe consider adding plants to attract butterflies to you garden.
One of my favourites is Verbena bonariensis which looks fabulous in a border, its tall stems topped with bright lavender-purple flowers in late-summer. It's perfect for herbaceous borders or mixed with ornamental grasses, and it rivals even the Buddleja for attracting butterflies. Gorgeous Echinacea is another star of the border loved by butterflies as is Sedum spectabile, which has the added bonus of flowering well into autumn.
As the end of summer approaches, we naturally tend to start looking ahead to the next season. The end of the month is a good time to clear and dig over any borders you might want to replant. Remove any roots and perennial weeds, and add fertiliser, compost or manure at the same time. When designing your new planting scheme, remember to leave some space for spring bulbs which will soon be available in the garden centres.
Your lawn will probably need mowing regularly this month. If you go on holiday, try to mow the lawn gradually on your return, with the blade set quite high initially to avoid any damage to the lawn. If we have long periods of hot, dry weather, remember to top up ponds and bird baths.
AUGUST ON THE VEG PLOT
Whether you have an allotment, a veggie patch in your garden or just a few containers for growing your own.
Plant two or three tubers in a large pot or potato grow bag, one third full of compost. As the potatoes grow, 'earth up' by adding more compost to the pot. Bring into the greenhouse early September to avoid blight and the coming frosts. There's nothing nicer, with Christmas dinner, than home grown new potatoes.
Sow spring cabbage thinly in a seed bed or large pot. When the seedlings are 10 to 15cm tall transplant them every 20cm in rows 30cm apart in their permanent bed. In March, use every other plant as spring greens, leaving the others to heart up to a mature cabbage.
Sow Swiss chard and perpetual spinach. You should get a few pickings before the worst weather hits, but the plants stand all winter and put on masses of welcome new growth in the spring. Such a useful crop to be used all year round.
Sow salad crops, turnips and Oriental vegetables, all of which are quick maturing, realising a crop before the cold weather arrives. Look out for over wintering onion sets in the garden centres to plant out soon.
Thanks to Will from https://www.bartongrange.co.uk/plants-and-gardening/gardening-advice/