15 gardening tips for August

It’s August, the holidays are here, and it’s time to really make the most of your garden. Borders are filled with late summer flowers, and there’s plenty to harvest in the vegetable plot! Keep your garden looking great this month with our top 15 gardening tips for August.

Top 15 gardening tips for August

  1. Keep up the deadheading. Roses, daylilies, dahlias and cosmos will all keep on flowering for longer if regularly deadheaded, and they make beautiful cut flowers! 

  2. If the weather is dry, water camellias and rhododendrons regularly as they start developing their flower buds for next year’s display.

  3. Trim faded lavender flowers to keep the plants looking tidy, taking care not to cut too far back into old wood. Check down the stems to see where new leaf buds appear and cut above these.

  4. Now’s the time to prune rambling roses. Remove one in every three old stems and tie any loose growth into supports. Shorten side shoots by approximately two-thirds.

  5. Summer prune wisteria, cutting back all this year’s long whippy shoots to 5-6 leaves from the main framework. As well as keeping the plant under control, this encourages it to produce flower buds for next year.

  6. Water container plants regularly in dry weather and feed flowering plants fortnightly with a high potash liquid feed like tomato fertiliser. When feeding container plants, always water them first so that the compost is damp – this improves nutrient uptake and avoids damage to the roots.

  7. Annuals like nigella and poppies will be setting seed now. Collect the seed in paper envelopes for sowing next spring – and don’t forget to label the envelopes! 

Collecting seeds from poppies

  1. Remember your garden wildlife when the weather is hot. Keep bird baths and ponds topped up to give birds and insects somewhere to drink and cool off.

  2. Plant nerines and colchicums, for an autumn display of flowers just as other plants are starting to fade. 

  3. Prune summer-fruiting raspberries once you’ve finished harvesting, cutting back all this year’s fruited canes to ground level.

  4. Keep picking courgettes and beans to keep the plants producing more. Potatoes, tomatoes, beetroots, onions and carrots should all also be ready for harvesting this month.

  5. Feed container-grown courgettes, chilli peppers and tomatoes fortnightly with a high-potash liquid feed to boost fruit production.

  6. Salads aren’t just for summer! Sow lamb’s lettuce, mizuna and rocket now to give you fresh salad leaves in autumn and early winter.

  7. If you’re lucky enough to have hedgehogs in your garden, leave out food and water for them to help them fatten up before they hibernate. Meat-based cat or dog food is ideal, but not bread or milk, as these are both very bad for hedgehogs.

  8. Mow the lawn less often if the weather is dry, and raise the blade height on your lawnmower. 

Borders looking tired? Visit our centre where you’ll find a fantastic range of shrubs and perennials to give your garden a late summer boost!

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