August is one of the coldest months of the year but it is also the Winter month closest to Spring so our thoughts must now turn to the tasks needed to be completed as Spring approaches. Much of the work is preparation for the sowing of seeds, planting and cleaning up of weeds. As the days lengthen day time temperature can be quite warm which can bring on new growth but be aware that nights will still be cold and there will be plenty of frosts to come.

Fruit and Vegetable Garden

Continue to prune on fine sunny days and complete by the end of the month.

Get the final Winter sprays on the fruit trees before the buds start to move.

Now is a good time to plant new fruit trees and berry fruits.

As the ground dries out dig over in preparation for planting or sowing.

Hardy vegetable seeds can be sown indoors ready to be planted in 6 weeks or so.

Early in the month is a good time to put garden lime on the garden, this should be done every 3-4 years.

Sprout potato seed tubers ready for planting when the soil warms up.

Flowers and Shrubs

Prune and spray roses by the end of the month.

As Winter flowering shrubs finish flowering prune to keep shape and encourage next seasons flowers.

Prune any tree that is growing in the way of paths, house, power lines or public footpaths. It is easier to see the problem branches when they do not have any leaves on.

Keep weeds away from emerging Spring bulbs and sprouting perennials to give them plenty of light and reduce competition. It is better to hand weed and remove the weeds so that they will not regrow.

Summer flowering corms and bulbs may be planted now or started off in the greenhouse i.e. gladioli,tuberous begonias.

Hostas can be lifted and divided now, also clean up the old leaves from last year from the crowns as this will help to get rid of slug eggs, slug bait around plants just as the buds start to grow will give good control also.

Lawns

The wet Winter has left the ground sealed so the grass needs to have the soil opened up, this may be done by using a fork sparing the ground,grooving with a special rake or adding gypsum.

As the grass begins to grow the first application of fertilizer can be made.

Moss control can be done towards the end of the month, remember not to cut the grass too low as that only encourages the moss to grow.

A light top dress of soil mixed with good seed will help to renew older lawns.

Always catch the grass in the early season as this will help with improving the drainage after the wet weather.

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