Jobs Ahead in August and September

In the Garden

Keep your plants well watered through the summer heat, paying particular attention to plants in containers, newly planted perennials, and shrubs which are most vulnerable to drying out. 

Water evergreen shrubs like camellias and rhododendrons well to ensure they develop strong buds for next year’s display.

Collect ripened seeds from plants you want to grow next year. Store in a cool, dry place in envelopes labelled with the plant name although do leave some seeds on your plants if you want them to self-seed into the surrounding soil.

Clip evergreen box and yew balls on a dry day to reduce spore spread and ensure there is good air circulation around your plants to reduce the risk of box blight.

Autumn is the best time to establish a new lawn or patch up areas of an existing lawn. Prepare the area now by removing any weeds ahead of sowing.

In the Borders

Keep deadheading bedding plants followed by a feed to encourage them to produce as many flowers as possible.

Hardy geraniums will be starting to look a bit straggly now, so can be cut back to tidy up and encourage another burst of fresh foliage.

Trim lavender lightly once it has finished flowering to keep the growth compact and rounded for next year and avoid leggy stems.

Deadhead buddleja bushes to keep them flowering into the autumn, providing an important source of food for bees and other insects.

In the Veg Beds

Main crop potatoes are ready to harvest when the leaves turn yellow and start to die back. Store your potatoes in a cool, dry place with good ventilation.

Pick courgettes when they are about 10cm long in order to encourage more to grow and prevent them turning into tough, woody marrows.

Spinach can still be sown outdoors in early August for a late September crop.

In the Fruit Cage

Autumn fruiting raspberries, blackberries, and loganberries will be ready to harvest this month. If you have a glut of fruit, spread it out and freeze on trays for a couple of hours then bag it up in the freezer to use over the winter.

Lift and pot up strawberry runners that have rooted in the ground. Sever the stem between the runner and mother plant, then prise it carefully from the soil. Remove any dead leaves and pot into a small container with regular compost or replant into the ground.

In the Greenhouse

Remove any leaves below the lowest fruit trusses on tomato plants to allow good air circulation. Aim for 5-6 trusses per plant, pinching out growing tips so energy is focused on the tomatoes and feed once a fortnight.

Once you have harvested tomatoes, use the space to sow quick cropping salads like rocket, endive, and mizuna. 

As the evenings start to get cooler, close greenhouse vents, doors, and windows at night to lock in warmth. Remember to open again in the morning to avoid the build up of excessive temperatures during the day.

In the Herb Bed

Cut back chives to encourage them to develop a fresh set of new shoots.

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