August Lawn Jobs
Check this list of July jobs to make sure you have everything covered
August is the month when many lawns turn brown. The only green answer is to keep people off the lawn while the grass is so stressed.
If you plan to water your lawn, make sure you give it about an inch at any one time. Start before any drought turns your grass brown. Using a sprinkler can work out very expensive if you are on a water meter and you might want to think twice, or maybe just water part of your lawn. Use a shallow food container to judge when you have given the grass an inch of water, there will be one inch of water in the food container.
Avoid cutting the grass while drought conditions persist, it won't grow much anyway. Do not apply lawn fertiliser or weed killer under any circumstances in August, you will do your lawn more harm than good.
If thegrass is still green and growing just keep on cutting it, but not too short, in case the weather turns dry. Use shears or a strimmer to keep the edges trimmed.
Hedges in August
If you are unfortunate enough to have a hawthorn hedge around your garden or yard this will probably need cutting in August. Cut it back to the same place you did last time. You will know where that is, because you will find the twigs divide where they were last cut.
Honeysuckle hedges will need only a light trim.
Trim laurel hedges back hard to your desired height.
Put all hedge cuttings through an electric chipper before using as mulch or putting on the compost heap. This is easier if you can leave them somewhere to dry out a bit first.
Roses in August
Continue to remove suckers, by pulling them off, rather than cutting, this removes the growth bud and will have a longer effect than using secateurs.
You can recognize suckers because they are often a different color and have a different number of leaflets on each side branch from the rest of the rose bush. Suckers are usually thick and extremely healthy looking, growing much faster than normal growth on roses.
Continue to cut off dead heads and any flowers that have rotted or become over-blown. Leave on flowers of roses that form hips, especially if you want to attract greenfinches and similar birds to your garden.
Watch out for any signs of black spot on your roses and spray with liquid copper fungicide at the very first sign. This fungal infection will spread rapidly and prevent your roses flowering again this year. It will not go away on its own.
If you have severe greenfly infestation on your roses you could spray with any of the proprietary greenfly killers, put ladybirds (ladybugs) on the roses or try to attract blue tits to your garden. Ladybug larvae and blue tits eat lots of greenfly.
Plan ahead now to plant shrubs and flowers that will attract species that feed on greenfly. Poached Egg Plants attract hoverflies, the larvae of which eat greenfly. Plan an ecologically sound garden and greenflies will never bother you.
Soft fruit in August
Keep the netting over your raspberries, to prevent birds eating them.
Cut back any blackcurrant canes that have produced fruit this year. Stick the canes in the ground, they will root and give you more blackcurrant bushes that will start fruiting in two years time.
Watch out for slugs near your strawberries and pick the fruits as soon as they are ripe.
Start picking raspberries as they ripen. Freezing raspberries until you have enough for a summer pudding, about two pounds is a good idea. It does not matter that the raspberries go mushy when they are thawed, they will be mushy in the summer pudding anyway
August Vegetable Jobs
Transplant cabbage and cauliflower seedlings to the vegetable bed. The soil needs to be firm, if these plants are to develop firm hearts, so they cannot go where recently lifted potatoes were, or anywhere that has been recently dug or composted. You will probably need to add lime to the soil for any members of the brassica family such as these. Plant them at least two feet apart, it might look stupid while they are small, but they grow into large plants.
If you have any cauliflower or cabbage plants left over, plant them between your blackcurrants and raspberries. They will give you some greenery in the soft fruit bed over the winter, when soft fruit stems are bare, or cut down to ground level. Just give plenty of organic fertilizer, such as blood fish and bone to maintain healthy growth of both cabbages and soft fruit,
Sow Swedes for winter and spring crops. Add lime if you have acid soil, but apart from that these are trouble free.
Continue to pick peas and runner beans as soon as the pods are of a useable size. If you leave just one runner bean pod to reach maturity the plants will stop flowering and you will get no more new beans. Keep the beans well watered. If you do miss any and you realize too late, let the beans develop fully and keep the fully ripe seeds until next May, when you can plant them again.
Shrubs – August Jobs
Take hard wood cuttings from honeysuckle, and anything else you have. Stick the cuttings in a bucke of used compost and see if they root. If they do, grow them on in separate pots of fresh compost, if they don't grow what have you lost?
Climbers – August Jobs
Trim climbing roses back slightly. Keep watering any pot-grown climbers and clematis.
Annuals – August Jobs
Keep on top of the weeding, mainly around the edges of any beds, as the annuals should be keeping most of the weeds down. Just pull any weeds you see in the middle of the bed that have flower heads, don't let them go to seed.
Biennials – August Jobs
There is still time to sow parsley for next spring and summer. If you have a parsley patch already, let a few of t he plants go to seed to make sure you get a new crop of seedlings next year.
Check out this list of September jobs so you are organised.