What to do in the garden in August

1 August 2017

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Midsummer can mean a pause while your garden gets ready for the bright colours of autumn – but it doesn’t have to be that way. Keep your outdoor space looking at its best with this month’s garden jobs:

General tasks:

  • Remove excess oxygenating plants from ponds and compost them after leaving them on the side for a little while so that wildlife can escape back into the water.
  • Check for slug and snail damage and if necessary, set up traps and barriers or attack directly with wildlife-friendly pellets, available from the garden centre here.
  • Watering is essential for all plants, containers, hanging baskets and new plants.
  • Keep ponds and water features topped up and keep the filters clear and remove any weeds.
  • Satisfy your garden's hunger with a granular fertiliser.

Ornamental garden:

  • Look out for earwig damage on dahlias – these beetle-like insects love to munch on petals, ruining your display, so trap them in a flowerpot stuffed with straw, hung upside down on a cane among the flowers.
  • Give lavender a trim as soon as flowers fade, cutting back to about 2cm of this year’s growth to keep it compact and neat. Don’t cut into older, brown wood or it may not grow back.
  • Prune philadelphus as well as other early summer flowering shrubs like weigela and deutzia once flowers have faded, removing a third of the oldest growth at the base.
  • Regularly deadhead flowering plants to encourage re-growth.
  • Maintain your roses by picking and spraying frequently to control black spot mildew and aphids . Encourage climbing roses by tying in growth.

Kitchen garden:

  • Keep sowing salads little and often to keep the supplies coming: look out for seed of endive, lettuces, rocket and pak choi on our seed racks and sow half a row now to keep you in fresh salads through autumn.
  • Feed chilli plants weekly with a potassium-rich liquid tomato feed to encourage extra flowers and even more fruits right up till the first frosts.
  • Harvest courgettes regularly at no more than 15-20cm long to enjoy them at their tender best: leave them to grow much bigger and plants quickly become less productive, so regular harvesting is essential.
  • Continue cutting out old fruited canes on raspberries and pick ripe raspberries.
  • Prune all summer varieties of fruit down to ground level and ensure netting on fruit cages hasn't worn. Lift and pot up rooted strawberry runners.
  • Earth up brussel sprouts and potatoes and continue to water onions to get the most out of your crop.