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August Garden Tips

Garden work for August.

Flower garden

Keep rose bushes clean by picking up as many of the leaves that have been affected by lack spot disease.

Plant autumn flowering colchicum (also known as autumn crocus)

Prune wisteria, removing all the whippy shoots and cutting back to 5 or 6 buds on the main stems.

Watering camellias and rhododendrons now ensures that they will get good bud formation for next spring.

Lightly trim hebes and lavender after they have finished flowering.  Remove all the flower stems and approximately 2.5cm (1”) of the new growth.  Don’t cut back into established stems.

Towards the end of the month, rambler roses that have finished flowering should be pruned.

Allow seed heads such as hips on roses and annuals to develop as a wildlife food source.

Vegetables

Tie in canes on raspberries and blackberries.

Complete lifting second earlies.  Remember to remove all the potato haulm and stalks and take to the recycling centre.

Transplant summer grown cabbage, broccoli and kale seedlings.  Make sure that the new ground is well compacted after transplanting.

Sow fast growing ‘catch crops’ for autumn use.  Vegetable like radish, lettuce, rocket and turnips come into this category.

Test sweet corn cobs by seeing if the grain produces a milky juice when pressed with a fingernail.  If it does, then it is time to enjoy the cob.

Keep protecting your carrot crop until the autumn as the carrot fly is still a danger.

Onions that are reaching maturity should have their stems bent over and the bulbs partially lifted with a fork to encourage full ripening.  Well ripened bulbs are much more likely to keep right through the winter.

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