August should be the month where your garden is looking its best so you deserve to sit back and admire the literal and metaphorical fruits of your labour, but not for long! There are plenty of jobs for the garden in August for UK gardeners as well as planning and preparing for the autumn and winter.
Much like July, August in the garden is about keeping your garden thriving with general maintenance tasks, and there should be lots of fruit and veg for your summer lunch and dinner plates. There are lots of gardening jobs to do in August, here are some of the key tasks.
General Garden Maintenance
Ensuring your garden is well hydrated is vital in the hot summer months as the temperature dries the soil. One tip is to water the garden during the cooler parts of the day – early morning or late evening – because this stops the water from evaporating before the plant has had an opportunity to absorb it.
Another tip is to water the roots of the plants. Soaking the leaves does very little, so to retain moisture in the soil, add a layer of mulch.
One of the gardening jobs for August to get on top of is tackling weeds. Ensure you dig them out of your lawn and from patios, paths and driveways before they become a serious problem. The same goes for snails. They’re usually around on damp evenings so go on snail hunts!
Also, make sure your bird baths are topped up with water.
Plan Your Winter Veg
It seems odd to be preparing your Christmas dinner veg when it’s hot outside, but to ensure everything is ready for the end of December, you can plant late-season potatoes, brussel sprouts, broccoli and cabbage now.
Plants & Flowers
To encourage growth through the late summer and autumn, deadhead your flowers in your beds, borders and containers and prune your wisteria after it has flowered to stop it from growing wildly.
One of the best things to do in the garden in August is to trim your hedges before they stop growing. Trimming makes them neat and tidy and also encourages them to hold their shape until next year.
You may start to see gaps appearing in your beds, so late August is the perfect time to plant new bulbs such as a variety of alliums, crocuses, daffodils, narcissus and snowdrops. You can also sow plants that are great pollinators such as sweet peas, sunflowers, pulmonaria, also known as lungworts, and globe thistles.
Fruit & Vegetables
If you have fruit trees, one of the necessary August garden tasks is to prune them to ensure a healthy crop of fruit over the next few years.
You can now harvest your fresh herbs and whatever you don’t use you can keep in the freezer or in airtight jars. This is one of the most enjoyable of the gardening jobs to do in August.
Pick your courgettes when they’re small and tender to stop them growing into marrows and your beans and peas should also be ready.
One of the key things to look out for is potato blight. It’s a fungal infection called Phytophthora infestans and it causes the leaves and the tubers to turn black and rot. Tomato blight is basically the same. It causes the fruits and leaves to rot and it renders them inedible. It usually happens when the plants are hot and humid so always try and keep them in dry, well-ventilated spots in the garden.
Fences & Sheds
The harsh winter and the height of summer give fences and sheds quite the battering so one of the worthwhile jobs for the garden in August is to protect them. By painting, varnishing or preserving them with a good quality wood stain every couple of years or so, you can prolong their lifespans, saving you having to fork out for costly replacements.
Think about a coloured paint to add a flash of brightness to your garden as well as being a great talking point!
There’s a plethora of things to do in the garden in August as well as loads of great advice and information available at your local nursery or garden centre.