The August garden

Lace-cap hydrangeas like Hydrangea macrophylla Mariesii Lilacina look good now

Lace-cap hydrangeas like this Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Mariesii Lilacina’ look dainty and fresh in August

Watch out for pests and remove wilting flowers to keep your garden looking good in August. Here are some ideas of the jobs you may need to do in your garden this month.

Vine weevils are common pests in the garden. If the leaves of your container plants have nibbled edges, it may be adult vine weevils causing the problem. However, it’s the vine weevil grubs that cause the most damage and can actually kill plants. They are hidden in the soil and can cause serious damage by eating plant roots. The grubs are active in August, so if you have problems with vine weevil, now is the time to treat affected containers with a biological control. There are nematodes that are natural predators of vine weevil and they are available to buy. They are mixed with water and applied to the compost of affected plants.

  • August is the last chance to prune hedges this season. This is particularly important for evergreens, as they can die-back if cut later in the year.

  • Trim back any perennials that have flopped over. They will produce new growth and may even flower again.

  • Trim off lavender flower spikes after flowering to keep plants compact. Cut about 2.5 cm (1 inch) into the new growth, but don’t cut down to the old wood.

  • Remove dead flowers and leaves from bedding plants to keep them looking fresh and to encourage more blooms.

  • The recent rain has led to more weed growth. Try to pull out the weeds before they set seeds and spread around your garden.

  • Feed flowering and fruiting plants with a high-potassium fertilizer to encourage the plants to keep producing buds. Liquid tomato feed is ideal for this. This type of fertilizer is also good for woody shrubs and trees in containers as it helps to produce tougher growth that survives the winter better.

  • Give lawns a high phosphate fertilizer in August as it promotes strong root growth.

  • Autumn bulbs, such as autumn crocus (Colchicum) and Nerine can be planted now.

Disclaimer: The information given in this blog is very general and results can be affected by many kinds of local conditions, such as weather, soil, aspect, etc. The author therefore does not accept responsibility for any loss or failure as a result of following any suggestions given.


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