What to do Now / August

Gardening Advice

What to do Now / August

  • Collect seeds as they ripen, from plants such as aquilegias, sweet peas and love-in-a-mist, choosing a dry day
  • Deadhead dahlias and other perennials to encourage a constant display of blooms
  • Keep camellias and rhododendrons well watered through late summer while their flower buds are forming
  • Trim lavender once flowering is over to maintain a compact, bushy shape, but avoid cutting into old wood
  • Prune rambling roses, removing up to a third of stems that have flowered, and tie the rest to supports
  • Be vigilant for signs of tomato and potato blight, removing affected plants immediately to prevent spread
  • Summer prune both free-standing and trained apple trees, to encourage good fruiting in future years
  • Plant well-rooted strawberry runners into new beds
  • Pinch out the tops of outdoor tomatoes, as further flowers are unlikely to produce fruits that have time to ripen
  • Order saffron crocus bulbs (Crocus sativus) to plant in September, so you can harvest your own saffron this autumn
  • Set up a capillary matting system to ensure plants have enough water if you're going away on holiday
  • Plant cold-stored potato tubers in large tubs in a greenhouse or cool porch, for harvesting at Christmas
  • Pour water over the greenhouse floor every morning during hot weather to increase humidity
  • Plant up pots with 'Paper White' narcissus bulbs for fragrant indoor displays this Christmas
  • Remove the lower leaves of cordon tomatoes up to the lowest truss, to let more light and air reach the fruits
  • Cut laurel hedges with secateurs rather than a hedgetrimmer, to avoid half-cut leaves that turn brown
  • Clear weeds from cracks in paving and driveways before they get established
  • Tackle problem lawn weeds, digging them out or applying a lawn weedkiller
  • Sow green manure to fill any bare ground
  • Summer prune wisteria by shortening all long sideshoots to about 20cm
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