From Michael Coulter

August sees the transition of the seasons from Winter to early Spring. The days are getting longer and the sun has more warmth. This time of the season can be very challenging in the garden; it can be very cold to quite warm which tells us that we must get on and finish all those Winter tasks before the real start of Spring is here.

We often get impatient to start planting and seed sowing but I still think it is too early for most plants so much of our work should be preparation for planting and sowing.

This is a good time to stock take what we have in the shed as far as seeds and fertilisers and replace any old seeds past their use by dates and any fertilisers that will be needed in the coming season.

The ground can be dug over and compost incorporated to get the soil ready for planting. Any old crops should be removed to make way for more planting.

Good gardening! See you all at All About Gardening to answer any questions.

Lawns

  1. Get the lawn mower serviced and ready for the growing season.
  2. Make first cut of the season, only cut at a height that will make the lawn look tidy.
  3. Always catch the grass at this time of the year.
  4. At the end of the month the lawn can be fertilised.
  5. After the first cut the lawn may benefit from a rake to reduce the thick thatch.
  6. Repairs to bare areas by mixing grass seed and fine soil spread over the area which has been roughed up with a fork may be completed from the end of the month onwards.

Fruit & Vegetable Garden

  1. Finish all pruning by the end of the month.
  2. Treat fruit trees for diseases, spray with copper.
  3. Spray conquer oil on trees to control insects.
  4. Plant new fruit trees, choose only good quality healthy plants.
  5. Plant strawberries and other soft fruits, choose a sunny site for best results.
  6. Hardy crops like brassicas and lettuce may be sown and planted towards the end of the month.
  7. Broad beans may need to be staked and keep garlic and onion crops weed free.
  8. Warm loving crops like tomatoes may be sown indoors but they may do better with some bottom heat or wait few more weeks.

Flower Garden

  1. Keep Spring bulbs weed free and make sure that daffodils have plenty of water.
  2. Spring flowering shrubs should be pruned straight after flowering to encourage next year’s flowers.
  3. Complete rose pruning and treat plants for pests and diseases.
  4. Side dress roses with rose fertiliser to promote good healthy growth.
  5. Gladiola may be planted towards the end of the month. Plant only healthy firm corms for best results.
  6. Dead-head Spring flowering annuals (poppies, pansies, violas, primulas, polyanthus etc…) to prolong their flowering.
  7. Keep weeds free from around perennials and look out for slugs, especially around hostas.
  8. Prune hydrangeas – remove all the old wood and last years flower heads. Look out for the white scale on the lower stems which can be cut out and then treat plant with an insecticide.