August 2010

Usually one of the hottest months of the year, –   so extra attention must be paid to watering and caring for your plants and trees. Try to use grey water (ie used water such as washing up water as long as it does not contain too much detergent) wherever possible, especially as water butts may be running low after the a dry summer we have had. This is one of the best months for sitting back and admiring your hard work! Also it is traditionally holiday-time, so the gardener can go on holiday provided he has mown the lawn, watered thoroughly     and enlisted the help of friends and family to look after the garden while you are away. As and incentive tell them to pick what ever fruit and vegetables are ready so that you do not to waste food and in part payment for their efforts. You never know you might encourage someone to start gardening as fresh fruit and vegetable do taste better

Some jobs to keep you busy

Summer prune Wisteria cutting new shoots back to 5 buds and tie in if required.

Plant Crocuses, Daffodils ,Scillas and Snowdrops as soon as the bulbs are available .Also plant hyacinths ,paper-white Narcissi and Freesias for flowering at Christmas.

Sow Anemones ,Hollyhocks and Gaillardias to flower next year.

Check the staking and tying in of Chrysanthemums and Dahlias.

Cut out the fruiting canes of Summer Raspberries and Black Currants when the last fruits have been picked.

Deadhead flowering plants regularly

Watering! Particularly containers, and new plants – preferably with grey recycled water or stored rainwater.

Remember to water Tomatoes regularly to avoid bottom end rot.

Harvest Garlic, Shallots and Onions once the stems are dry and brown.

Collect seed from favourite plants

Harvest sweetcorn and other vegetables as they become ready

Lift and pot up rooted strawberry runners

Keep ponds and water features topped up

Feed the soil with green manures

Remember to top up water put out for the birds and small mammals to drink or bathe in.

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