AUGUST GARDENER

Examine soil loam texture and test your soil pH with electronic meters

SCIENCE FOR THE GARDENER BOOK TO BE PUBLISHED THIS YEAR

SEE CHAPTER 1 ON THE SCIENCE PAGE    HISTORY OF PLANTS ALGAE TO ANGIOSPERMS 

AUGUST GARDENER

There are many jobs to do but we should make the most of this special time of year to relax and enjoy all our hard work and efforts over the past few months.

Important jobs to do in  August

 Much warmer weather catches us on the hop when we get a very dry period and suddenly find the soil, containers and baskets drying out very quickly.

Skimmia japonica

A good idea is to add water crystals with compost and soil to containers and hanging baskets.  They produce water filled jelly which lasts a considerable time and makes a big difference in hot weather.  Compost and manure on its own dries out fast so some loamy soil will be required which will be a better water retaining combination.  Newly planted trees and shrubs MUST be kept well-watered for a year!

Mulching with compost and especially manure for nitrogen demanding plants – such as roses – and some vegetables Brassicas (but not Legumes: peas) is recommended, but do keep watered.  Mulching also has the effect of retaining moisture in all growing media.  You will see very rapidly the improvement in your plants’ well-being.  It’s very encouraging.

Raise mower blades in hot weather

Lawns will rapidly dry out, even with some rain, which barely penetrates roots, so one thorough watering is proven to be more effective than an occasional sprinkle with the watering can.  Add high nitrogen liquid feed according to manufacturer’s label.

Remove spring bulbs and leaves but keep stored bulbs dry and lightly dust with sulphur if any sign of disease.

Clear ponds and aquatic areas of surface congested oxygen plants/weeds now after a tough winter.  Remove excess silt and general detritus and check and trim water plants and their containers.

Dead heading flowers can be a bit laborious but well worth the effort as it directs the plant’s energy to continue flowering rather than going to seed too early.

Special Plants and their families recommended in July-August.  Pinks and Penstemons(Plantaginaceae or Foxglove family).  Lily (Amaryllis)  Iris (wet or bearded), Sisyrincha, Dierama (Angels fishing rod), Tigridia (all Iris family).  Euphorbia for fragrant foliage (Euphorbia family) and not forgetting those wonderful herbs (Mentha – Mint family) quick to grow from seed in a pot is best.

Annual Pelargoniums (Geranium family).

Harvest summer vegetables carrots, beans, onions and shallots, early potatoes.  Sow winder brassicas and winter salads.

 

Just enjoy your garden this last full month of Summer  well deserved after a long winter.

Best  wishes

 

Tony Arnold  MCIHort

SCIENCE FOR THE GARDENER BOOK TO BE PUBLISHED THIS YEAR