The Gardener’s Calendar

Jobs in the garden for August by Ian Clemens (Horticultural Society)

  • Keep everything well watered especially during prolonged dry spells and don’t forget to feed plants with a general purpose liquid fertiliser.
  • Continue to dead-head annuals and perennials to avoid self-seeding and to encourage prolonged flowering.
  • Stake tall or top heavy Dahlias and Lilies to prevent wind and rain damage.
  • Prune summer flowering shrubs once they have finished blooming.
  • Collect ripened seed and store for next year.
  • Continue to feed tomato plants with a tomato fertiliser and remove leaves lower down on the plant to help with air circulation and prevent disease.
  • Cut back herbs now to encourage a new flush of tasty leaves that you can harvest before the first frosts. Dry or freeze your herbs to use in the kitchen later on.
  • Pinch out the tips of your runner bean plants once they reach the top of their support. This encourages side-shooting and more beans at a manageable height for harvesting.
  • Continue to harvest second early potatoes now and start harvesting your maincrops as the leaves yellow and die back.
  • Keep an eye out for blight on tomatoes and potatoes. Treat with Bordeaux mixture at the first sight or when warnings are issued (for alerts register at www.blightwatch.co.uk)
  • Harvest French and runner beans little and often to ensure a continued supply and prevent them from setting seed.
  • Check for cabbage white butterfly eggs under brassica leaves and squash any that you find.
  • Harvest your fruit trees: cherries, plums, peaches, nectarines and apricots should all be ripe now! Early varieties of apple trees will be ready towards the end of the month.
  • Excesses of autumn raspberries, blackberries or loganberries, can be frozen on trays for a couple of hours and then bagged up for over winter use.
  • Prune the fruited stems of your blackcurrant