With sunny, dry days ahead, August is all about watering, pruning, trimming and deadheading to maintain flowering. Grow your own gardeners can sow quick maturing salad crops, spring cabbage and oriental vegetables and should cut out old fruited canes of raspberries.
Prune Wisteria by cutting back new season growth to 5 leaves. This will control the size of the wisteria and encourage the formation of flower buds instead of green growth.
Cut back flowered herbaceous plants to create a late season flush.
Prune rambling roses after flowering. Thin and shorten excessive growth and reduce side shoots by two thirds.
Complete summer pruning of fruiting fans and cordons. Pruning apples and pears trained in restricted forms will allow sunlight to ripen the fruit and ensures a good crop in the following year. Fruit trees grown as standard trees or free standing bushes are best pruned in the winter.
Give hedges a final trim.
Deadhead flowering plants, removing flowers when they are fading or dead. This will not only keep your plants looking attractive, it will encourage new blooms. Regular deadheading directs energy into stronger growth and more flowers.
Protect dahlia flowers with earwig traps – upturned pots on canes filled with hay or straw. Shake out the pots every morning.
Watering is key this month, particularly plants in pots or containers or border plants that are not yet established. Water in the coolers parts of the day; in the early morning or the evening. If you are able to, water in the mornings as the plants will start to use the water when the sun comes up, leaving the soil drier in the evenings which helps to discourage slugs and snails.
You can still sow quick maturing salad crops, spring cabbage, turnips, oriental vegetables and overwintering onions.
Cut out the old fruited canes of raspberries. This encourages new stems to grow from the base, which will carry fruit next summer.
Sow green manures now as a soil improver. Green manures are usually sown in late summer or early autumn and are the organic way to improve the soil structure and fertility and suppress weeds. They will take up any nutrients in the soil to prevent them being washed away by rain and when dug into the ground in the spring, they will release nutrients into the soil.