After the heat of July, the weather in August usually continues to be very nice, giving us time to simply enjoy our gardens and all the hard work we’ve put into them. Don’t worry too much about doing endless jobs – just remember to keep everything watered. If you are going away, you may need to enlist the help of friends and family to look after the garden. If you are at home and feeling energetic, there are still a few gardening tasks for August that will keep your gardens going longer, as well as opportunities to get a head start on next year’s garden plans.
Looking Good This Month: Hydrangea
Why should you plant them?
Hydrangeas are popular garden shrubs with delicate heads of flowers in shades of pink, white or blue. They are easy to care for, fully hardy and have an old-fashioned, cottage-style charm.
How should you plant them?
Hydrangeas like moist, free-draining soil and a partially shaded sheltered spot.
3 Essential Gardening Jobs for August
Take Herb Cuttings
August is the ideal month to take cuttings of woody herbs such as rosemary and lavender. To do this, simply take new growth that hasn’t flowered this year – cut a piece 10cm long just below a leaf joint, remove the lower leaves and dip the end in a rooting hormone before planting in a gritty compost.
If you have lavender in the garden, now is also the ideal time to give it a trim. This will encourage bushy new growth in the spring and will prevent it from becoming bare and woody.
Pruning & Tidying
Most long-flowering perennials will finish flowering this month so cut them down to the ground. Don’t forget about them though – continue to water them, as this will encourage a second flush of foliage and generally prevent the garden from looking frazzled and messy.
Although weeds will be growing more slowly now than in the spring, it’s a good idea to continue to hoe the soil to keep them down. Try to do this in warm, dry conditions to ensure any weed seedlings you disturb are left on the surface to dehydrate and die.
Make Plans for Next Year
A nice relaxing job for those long hot days! Pull up a chair in a sunny spot and start planning for next year. Make sketches of your flower borders and vegetable plot and list what you would like to plant. Take photos of your garden now while it is looking its best – if you want to rearrange in the winter it’s much easier to do if you have a reference point. Also think about what bulbs you want to plant for that early display of spring colour. Bulbs are usually available to buy from the end of August ready for autumn planting.
Stay Safe & Enjoy Your Garden!
Words by Westfield Nurseries