August is usually the hottest, driest month of the year, my advice is to keep work to a minimum and enjoy sitting in the shade enjoying the sunshine and blue skies whenever possible.
There’s pruning to be done this month, always cut just above a leaf joint and use sharp secateurs:
Wall-trained climbing roses:
cut 5-8cm/2-3in off non-branching tips to get them to branch and fill out, tie-in new shoots to horizontal supporting wires, they flower more at this angle.
Don’t prune repeat-flowering roses this month, or you’ll miss out on the extra flowers.
cut back all the whippy side-shoots, to within 15cm/6in of a main branch.
Dead head lilies:
so the energy goes back into the bulb rather than producing seeds
Water plants in containers regularly and snip off dead flowers to stop them going to seed, this keeps them flowering for longer.
Gently tie dahlias and gladioli to their supports to keep them from sprawling and having wonky stems, and it stops the stems from breaking if the flowers are heavy after rain.
Sow hardy annuals & biennials now:
to get bigger plants than ones sown next spring, they’ll flower earlier next year too.
My favourite hardy annuals are:
- Ammi majus
- Calendula [english marigolds]
- Centauria cyanus [cornflower]
- Eschscholzia [californian poppy]
- Nigella [love-in-a-mist]
set the mower high so that grass isn’t cut too short, don’t bother watering lawns, they soon perks up and becomes greeen again after rainfall.
trim back the flowers and their stalks to keep it looking neat, you can trim a few leaves off to but don’t cut back as far as the old, dark brown stems.
Weeds may have slowed down in the heat and without much rainfall, pull them out [or hoe them if they’re small enough] the main aim is to stop them flowering and showering the garden with seeds.
Happy gardening, Jill