In your garden…August 2022
One of Thorngrove’s resident experts Chris Francis is back with more gardening tips for August!
July was very hot which meant a lot more watering to keep plants alive and looking good – at Thorngrove this is a huge undertaking! We’ve also been busy potting up the Winter hardy cyclamen and pansies and violas.
So, if you’re looking to make the most of gardening in August, hopefully these tips should keep you busy!
Time to prune your Wisteria
Wisteria are pruned twice a year July / August then again January / February. Wisteria will flower more freely and regularly if pruned twice a year. The removal of growth in the summer allows better air circulation and more sunlight to reach the base of the young growth encouraging better ripening of the wood and improving the chance of flower bud formation.
Cut back the whippy green shoots of this year’s growth to five or six leaves after flowering in July / August. This will help keep your wisteria from getting out of hand it will also help keep it out of the guttering and windows it will help to produce flower buds rather than green growth. In January / February cut back the same growth to two or three buds (when the plant is dormant) this will tidy it up before the growing season starts and ensure your flowers are not obscured by leaves.
Dead head flowering plants regularly especially roses. Also keep your planted containers and hanging baskets dead headed as this will keep them looking good all summer and prolong the flowering period.
Dead head perennials such as scabious, coreopsis; etc as they will keep flowering and keep your borders looking good.
Keep watering your hanging baskets and containers regular ideally in the morning to avoid evaporation loss during the day on warm summer days. Evening watering is also likely to be more effective. The dry soil soaking it in readily and low humidity at night will help reduce the risk of disease.
Safeguard your tomato plants.
Remove the lower level leaves from your tomato plants to help reduce risk of disease and keep it thriving for longer. When a tomato plants growth is dense or when the leaves are close to the ground this can mean that the leaves are permanently in the shade. By removing the lower leaves from the plant the remaining leaves have more space and access to sunlight so are more likely to stay drier and free from soil so will help cut down the risk of disease.
Strawberries can be propagated in late summer, but no later than early Autumn.
Sink a 9cm (3” pot) filled with multi-purpose compost, into the beds insert individual runners into them peg down with a U-shaped piece of thin wire about 15cm (6”) in length. Keep well watered to promote good root growth.
Cut the new young plants from the parent plant once it has rooted. These will be your replacement plants for next year. Harvest vegetables like sweetcorn when ready. Test for ripeness when the tassels have turned chocolate brown peel back a little of the husk and pierce a kernel with a fingernail, if a water liquid squirts out its unripe, if its creamy the cob is ready, if pastel like it is over mature. Twist ripe cob and pull sharply from stem.
Pond care (summer)
Water evaporates during windy or hot weather, leading to the dropping of water levels, so top it up with water, ideally with rainwater from a but as tap water is rich in nutrients that causes Algae to prosper. If you do have to add tap water and you keep fish, add that tap water gradually in small amounts to prevent the cold water shocking the fish. On hot humid nights spray water over the surface of the pond to break the surface and improves oxygen levels. Alternatively, if you have a water feature turn it on as this has the same effect.
Floating weeds can quickly cover the surface of the pond so remove some but leave it on the side over night so if there is any pond creatures in it they can return to the pond.
Other jobs to do
- Cut back faded perennials to keep your borders tidy
- Stake tall and top heavy Dahlias
- Water camellias and rhododendrons thoroughly this month to make sure that next years buds develop well.
- Dead head lilies for a better flower display next year, also keep an eye out for lily beetle remove and crush also look out for sticky brown larvae on the underside of the leaves and remove.
- As penstemon flowers fade cut back to just above a leaf to encourage more flowers.
- Cut back herbs now to encourage a new flush of tasty leaves you can harvest before the frost.
- Mow wild flower meadows now to help scatter the seed.
- If you’re mowing your lawns hire your cut by one notch to help look after your grass especially in this very hot weather
We are having a massive sale on Herbaceous and Shrubs right now, so if you’re looking for a bargain to fill your garden pop on down to the garden centre. We have shrubs from £3.00 and herbaceous plants as cheap as a £1.00! We also have an offer on any 3 £5.00 herbaceous for £10.00
If you are going to the Gillingham and Shaftesbury show we’ll see you there! We have a stand so why not pop along and see us even if its just for advice – and maybe pick up a plant or two.
Have a great month everyone!