Calendar of Garden Work for August


THIS is the month for horticultural shows or the preparation for them. Guard against birds and wasps, which are the chief enemies in August.


Make a note now of any improvements that could be made to the herbaceous border by replanting in the autumn.

Inspect roses that have been budded in previous months and loosen any ties that are cutting into the bark.

Cuttings of shrubs can still be taken. This is a good month particularly for hydrangeas; cuttings are best inserted into 2-½-in. pots and kept moist in a shaded frame without ventilation.

Check the stakes of Michaelmas daisies before the plants come into flower. If the foliage shows signs of mildew, spray it over with Karathane or flowers of sulphur.

From border plants remove dead flower heads or flowering spikes that have finished. Keep the border weeded and watered if necessary, because phlox, Michaelmas daisies, heleniums, chrysanthemums and other late border plants all seem to like plenty of moisture.

Disbud dahlias and tie in the growth as required and keep a careful look-out for greenfly attack.

Tie and disbud chrysanthemums according to variety and feed with chrysanthemum fertilizer. During dry weather these plants will be among the first to show signs of wilting and they should therefore be watered every evening if necessary.

Plant narcissi bulbs out-of-doors and in window-boxes.

Prepare the sites for new lawns that are to be autumn sown. Rake and roll thoroughly to prepare a good seed bed and sow the seed fairly thickly at the end of the month. If, however, the season has been dry and the soil is sugary and dry, delay the sowing until after rain. Occasionally mow established lawns without the box or hood on the machine, thus allowing the clippings to fall back as a mulch. This is especially useful in periods of drought.

Cut flowers such as limonium, helichrysum and helipterum for drying and for future use as winter indoor decoration.

Take cuttings of lavender and rambler roses.

Plant bulbs of lilium candidum.


Feed celery, runner beans, marrows and ridge cucumbers with liquid feeds. Earth up celery, fastening the stems together with wide raffia before the soil is thrown up, so as to keep the hearts firm and white.

Prepare a suitable site for a clamp for potatoes and other root crops to be kept through the winter. Obtain dry, clean straw for this job and keep it under cover until the clamp is made.

The seeds of the onion variety White Lisbon can be sown for salad onions in the spring. Choose a dry border, as losses will then be fewer during the winter than they would be in a badly-drained place.

In warmer districts, sow seeds of spring cabbage early in the month.

Continue to harvest beans, onions, peas, lettuce, beet, radishes and carrots as they are ready or required.

By the end of the month start blanching endive from the first sowing. Do only a few plants at a time, and never put pots over plants that are wet.

Harvest young vegetable marrows.


Continue to protect developing fruits from wasps. Cover choice fruits with muslin bags.

Pick early varieties of apple such as George Cave for immediate use — not to store.

Strawberry runners pegged down during the previous months will be ready to be severed from the parent plants and put into new strawberry beds. The beds should be carefully and thoroughly prepared before planting. Alternatively, the best of the young plants can be potted up into 6-in. pots and taken into frames and later moved into the greenhouse after it has been cleared of the tomatoes. Put them on the shelving near the light for gentle forcing. This will provide early fruits next spring.

Once all the fruit has been picked from the raspberry canes, prune the plants. Cut out to ground level the canes that have just finished fruiting, leaving half a dozen of the strongest-growing canes to each plant.

Common culinary fruits.

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Pick plums and greengages and preserve – prune apples early this month and burn the prunings.


Be ready with extra shading to put up at the first signs of scorched foliage. If the weather is very dry, watch out for thrips and red spider and damp down walls, paths and staging if necessary.

Reduce water supply to gloxinias and begonias that have finished flowering.

Picking will be in full swing from house-grown tomato plants. As the bottom trusses ripen and are picked, feed the plants with a liquid tomato fertilizer for subsequent fruits from the higher trusses.

Rooted cuttings taken and inserted during the summer will be ready for potting up singly or planting out in a frame. If they are left in their small pots at this stage they will grow away too quickly instead of making good firm plants.

Begin to water round cyclamen corms to start them growing. Scratch away the existing surface soil from the pots and replace it with John Innes potting compost No. l.

Cut cucumbers and melons as they are ready, and top dress the beds with compost.

Continue to take cuttings of fuchsias.

Make an early start with indoor bulbs by potting some Narcissus Paper White and Roman hyacinths. Plunge these under a layer of ashes outdoors.

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06. September 2013 by admin
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