August Gardening

August again is a month for general hoeing, keeping all beds as weed-free as possible and clearing away all dead flowers from the borders.

Plenty of water must be given during periods of dry weather or drought and fertilizer given to all crops still in the process of growing and fruiting.

Remember now that another main planting season in the garden begins in September and that orders for delivery should be placed as early as possible. Spend a while this month checking through the various nurserymen’s catalogues and get your order in promptly.

Flower Garden

Dahlias should now be fed about once a week so that fine strong blooms will result. This can be given in the form of liquid manure following a good soaking with water. Annuals which have now finished blooming must be removed from the flower garden and the empty spaces used perhaps for rooting some cuttings which would otherwise have been put into the seed bed.

Chrysanthemums can now be disbudded. This consists of choosing the strongest bud on each stem and pinching out all the subsidiary ones. This will allow the chosen bud to grow into a large healthy bloom.

Cutting can now be taken from geraniums which have spent the summer in the border.

Take cuttings of carnations this month by the layering method. It is the best method and is easily done by bending one of the carnation stems down to ground level and partly severing it at the point where it touches the soil. This can now be pegged down and the portion lightly covered with sandy soil. In a short time the stem will have taken root and it can then be completely detached from the parent plant.

Plant hollyhocks for flowering next year.

Spend a little time this month tying up untidy growth on wall climbers such as honeysuckle and clematis.

Lawn Care

Spot treatment of persistent weeds should be attended to this month and the lawn watered well during dry periods. Keep ahead with the mowing and try not to let the grass become too long. If the surface is now looking parched through hot dry weather a mowing with the grass box removed so that the cuttings fall back onto the lawn making a mulch which will help to retain moisture. Keep the lawn edges tidy with a pair of edging shears and if the edge should require it re-cut with a half-moon iron and put all the odd pieces onto the compost heap. This re-cutting should however not be done too often as the lawn will soon reduce in size.

Trees and Shrubs

Take cuttings of half ripe wood from lavender, ceanothus, lonicera and berberis. These small cuttings can be taken from the shrubs and planted after some of the lower leaves have been removed. Keep the young cuttings sprayed all over until they have rooted.

Roses

Spray any roses which are being attacked by pests and deal instantly with suckers which have appeared around the trees.

Time should be spent now removing dead flower heads and keeping the hoe active around the rose beds.

This is the month to study the numerous rose catalogues and to choose which new varieties are to be ordered for the next season’s flowering. If your order is placed early there is less chance of being disappointed as popular new varieties sell out very quickly.

Greenhouse

Spring flowering primulas can be planted now. Sow the seeds thinly in 6” pots filled with John Innes seed compost and cover them with a little sifted soil. Plunge each pot into water until moisture has penetrated up to the surface and then cover each pot with a piece of glass and stand them in a cool part of the house.

Within about two weeks the primula seeds will have germinated and when large enough to handle they should be transplanted into seed boxes allowing two inches between each plant. As growing continues re-pot individually into small pots, and keep them moist. As soon as they have spent a week or two potted separately they can be moved into a cold frame until September when they can be brought indoors and re-potted for spring flowering. At all times they should be kept moist and gently sprayed with water. Continue watering tomato plants often and give them regular doses of liquid manure. Pinch out all the side shoots as they appear.

Check that the shading painted onto the greenhouse glass earlier is still effective. If it is found that rain has begun to wash it off a further application should be applied.

Fruit Growing

Raspberries that have finished fruiting should now have their old canes cut away and sufficient young ones left to replace them for next season.

New strawberry beds can be prepared or existing ones extended with rooted plants taken from runners of this year’s fruiting plants.

All ripening fruit must be allowed as much light as possible and leaves can be removed where they are hiding fruit from the sun.

Apples, pears and plums that still require thinning should be attended to at once and preparations made for gathering apples as soon as they are ready. This can be easily checked by gently raising an apple in the palm of the hand. If it is ripe the stalk will break away easily from the branch.

Vegetables

Vacant spots in the vegetable garden can be sown with lettuce seeds and planted with seedlings of broccoli and savoys.

Clear away remains of all crops which have finished and hoe the soil over well.

Runner beans should now be growing well and if they have reached to the top of the supports the growing point should be pinched out. Beans will benefit greatly if a spraying of water is given during dry summer weather. Onions which are ripe should be harvested. Asparagus beds can be hoed over to remove any weeds.

The Pond

If a new pond was constructed earlier in the year and water lilies planted during June, it may now be found that the water has become green. This is usually caused by the formation of algae due to an excess amount of sunshine in which they thrive and insufficient oxygenating plants in the pool.

Planting tall aquatics around the edges will, as a long term remedy, offer shade but a weak solution of permanganate of potash stirred gently into the water will help to eradicate the trouble.

Only by well stocking the pond with lilies and other plants will you achieve the correct balance. Fish later introduced into the pond help to eat up the algae.

27. August 2013 by admin
Categories: Tips and Advice | Tags: , , | Comments Off on August Gardening

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