Well, our Summer certainly arrived in July with prolonged spells of hot and dry weather, hopefully you will have found some time to relax in your gardens in this time! August is the month to busy ourselves keeping our gardens tidy and cutting back early summer flowering plants. We can also continue to harvest some of our vegetables.
If you have grown vegetables, you may already be picking your sweetcorn, tomatoes, cucumbers, peas, beans, courgettes and other greenhouse crops. As pumpkins and butternut squashes come on, if you place straw or old tiles under the ripening vegetables this will stop them rotting on the soil surface.
Pick sweet peas regularly to encourage new flowers to form.
Tie in or support tall late-summer perennials to stop them leaning or falling over.
Lavender, Rosemary and Dianthus will be finishing flowering by now, so lightly trim them by cutting off the old flower heads and stalks but try not to cut into the older brown wood. Sprawling Geraniums which are nearing the end of their flowering can also be cut back as this will encourage a second flush of leaves and flowers. Continue to dead-head Roses.
Prune any shrubs that have finished flowering. Cut back established Wisterias, trimming long growth back to between 4 and 7prs of leaves and pinching out the tips of the unwanted fast growing new young shoots and trim fast-growing hedges to keep them in check.
Water all pots, baskets and flower beds well in dry spells, ideally from collected rain water or with used bathwater. Dark-coloured, smaller or metal patio pots will dry out rapidly in the heat, so these may need watering twice a day.
Mow the lawn weekly but raise the blades if the weather is hot and dry to prevent the grass turning brown.
We will always find things to do in our gardens but we have created them to enjoy them, so hopefully August will be a month of Summer socialising with family and friends in our outdoor spaces.