August in the garden
Thereâ€™s lots to be harvested in the vegetable plot this month and maintenance jobs to do elsewhere in the garden.
Hereâ€™s a summary, but scroll down if you want more information on any of these jobs
In the Vegetable Plot
- Harvest Beans and Courgettes
- Watch for butterfly eggs
- Lift strawberry runners
- Cut back herbs
- Harvest carrots and beetroots
In the Flower Bed
- Dead-head regularly
- Collect seeds heads
Around the Garden
- Feed your lawn
- Keep watering
- Feed, Feed, Feed
- Spray weeds
In the vegetable plotâ€¦
Harvest Beans and Courgettes
Pick beans and courgettes while they are still young and fresh to encourage the plant to keep producing.
Watch for butterfly eggs
Now is the time that Cabbage White Butterfly start to breed and devour your delicious cabbages. Keep an eye out for the butterfly eggs on the leaves of your brassica as they will soon turn into lots of caterpillars. When they grow you can pick them off the leaves but this will take some time; a good bug killer will also work. The best form of defence is prevention â€“ cover your cabbages with a fine netting to stop the butterfly getting to them in the first place.
Lift strawberry runners
Lift and pot strawberry runners that have taken root.
Cut back herbs
Encourage new growth on herbs, which you can harvest before the frost, by cutting them back now.
Harvest carrots and beetroot
Spring-sown carrots and beetroot will be ready to harvest, although they can be left in the ground to keep growing.
Continue to harvest second earlies and enjoy them with BBQ and salad! You can also start to harvest maincrop potatoes as the leaves yellow and die back. Store your potatoes in hessian sacks which exclude light but allow ventilation.
In the flower bedsâ€¦
A few minutes of deadheading every day will keep your garden looking beautiful and tidy. It encourages plants to produce more flowers and not to run to seed. Harvesting also encourages plants to keep producing, so pick dahlias, Cosmos, Chrysanthemums regularly.
Collect seed heads
If you donâ€™t want your plants to self seed, or you want to propagate them for next year, now is the time to collect ripened seed heads.
Around the gardenâ€¦
Feed your lawn
Give your lawn a summer feed it you didnâ€™t do so in Spring, to encourage healthy green growth.
Itâ€™s very dry at the moment so itâ€™s really important that your plants have enough water for them to survive. The summer sun is pulling all the moisture out of the leaves and it can cause a lot of stress on your plants. Check your plants regularly to see if they are wilting and give them lots of water to keep them going. If your water butts are running low, try using grey water as much as possible.
Feed, Feed, Feed
All the watering you are doing to keep your plants alive will slowly wash the nutrients from the compost in your pots and planters so keep feeding your plants. Feed them every fortnight for the rest of the summer to keep them looking good.
Perennial weeds, such as ground elder, have lots of leaves at this time a year, so itâ€™s a good time to spray them off with a glyphosate-based weedkiller, as the plant has lots of leaf surface area with which to absorb it.
For the wildlife…
Leave out a supply of fresh water in your bird baths so birds have access to drink and wash. It is also a good idea to leave out shallow dishes for small mammals like Hedgehogs; if the weather is extreme they will struggle to find a fresh water supply.
Leave out high protein foods for birds this time of year; mealworms, sunflower hearts, peanuts and good seed mixes will be appreciated. Meat-based cat or dog food left out for hedgehogs will be very beneficial for hungry hogs.
Hedges and shrubs
Take care when about to strim hedges or prune shrubs – some birds are still nesting and haven’t fledged yet.
Herbaceous perennials that blooms this time of year are wonderful for pollinators; Echinops, Geraniums, Coreopsis, Penstemon and Lavender are all fantastic to grow and beneficial to pollinators.