August 22 Garden
The last month of summer is upon us and we will hopefully be enjoying holiday mode.
With the children off school, our gardens will have their busiest month of the year. We can hopefully spend much needed time with our family, sitting back into our garden chairs surrounded by floral colour. August is like no other gardening month, before or after it and we must cherish this month as early Autumn is just around the corner and colours will change as the days start to shorten.
August is often the hottest time of the year so our plants will need to be sufficiently watered to ensure they thrive beyond this month. It would be nice to have as much colour for as long as possible. To be sure that plants get moisture into the roots we should water directly into the base of the plants and ideally in the evening when the risk of evaporation is reduced and they can sit in the moisture overnight. If you go away on holiday, then it is very important that someone waters your garden whilst you are absent.
The late summer days can be very hot and can still bring the occasional strong winds; this is refreshing for us but not for our plants. We need to ensure our taller flowers are protected from wind damage by using plant supports. The ideal plant support will be as tall as the plant stem and allow you to tie it in almost to the tallest flower. The dahlia and lilies will certainly need support to keep their top heavy flowers up straight. We don’t want any of our tall flowering plants to be knocked over and damaged as that will bring our floral colour to a sad and premature end.
The lawn grass can start to turn brown in hotter weather, this isn’t something to worry about as the grass will go dormant until the rain returns. However, if we want to keep the lawn healthy, green and lush, then watering it a couple of evenings per week will help it maintain a healthier look and feel. The growth of grass slows in late summer so use a higher cutting setting on your lawnmower to encourage healthier grass. If you spot any ant nest mounds in your lawn, then remember to thoroughly brush them into your grass before mowing.
The hot weather will make it easier for weeds, pests and diseases to thrive, meaning our gardening jobs are never quite finished. We should still be looking out for aphids, lily beetles, vine weevils and slugs amongst our leaves and flowers. In the first instance gently remove the pest by hand and then seek the relevant treatment to reduce the risk of them damaging your plant further; try using an organic spray. By keeping your plants as healthy as possible it will allow them to flourish for a few more weeks and maybe beyond depending on the weather in
So let’s enjoy the last gardening month of summer and make sure we get outside as much as possible, enjoying the garden at times when we would otherwise be distracted by routine. We should take a moment to reflect on the gardening year so far and think about what we want to see in our next August gardens. A quick photo of the garden can be a great help when planning for summer 2023. Lastly, very well done fellow gardeners, may you enjoy the summer floral fruits of your labour.
Please do follow me on Instagram @garden_with_tom for more seasonal gardening advice and tips.
This month’s top tips:
- Deadhead spent flowers
- Give your hedges a trim and tidy
- Use water from a water-butt as much as possible
- Turn compost to speed up decomposition
- Keep topping up the birdbath