AUGUST

 

The most important thing this month- before you jet off to the Palazzio near Siena- is to enjoy your garden; heady scents, glorious colours and abundance of fruit and vegetables, especially given all the sunshine that has been available this Summer.

 

 Here are some tasks you can enjoy whilst your partner mixes the jug of Pimms:

  • Deadheading- carry on the good work of cutting back perennials and dead head all dying and spent flowers on annuals, roses and shrubs. Not only will your garden look much, much tidier but the plants will put energy in to rejuvenation rather than in to producing seeds.  Be especially careful with Roses- cut back with sharp secateurs – just breaking off dead heads will leave your rose vulnerable to infection.  Enrich the soil around these plants with a mix of Pro-Grow , fish blood and bone meal and ordinary compost- you will be well rewarded.
  • Prune back lavender, rosemary and your wisteria shortening the latter’s wispy side shoots to about 20cm. Remember wisteria flowers from old wood so effort now will enhance flowering next Spring- they say a Wisteria can add £10k to the value of your house!!
  • Collect seed heads. Nothing brings out Adam the Gardener in us better than collecting seeds. Collect seed heads when nearly ripe and store in a cool, dark dry place and label them well. More of them later.
  • Just as I need a Gin and Tonic each Friday evening so your plants and containers need regular watering-if you don’t do this irreparable damage can occur to some plants. Don’t water in full sun but in the cool of the evening.
  • And keep on top of weeds.  Weeding on a “little and often basis” is by far the best way.  And what do you do about public enemy No 1? ( Bindweed) – trying to dig it out is like pushing water uphill=treat yourself to a small hand sprayer of one of the strong weedkillers (e.g Roundup). After a couple of treatments it will get the hint.
  • And looking ahead- plant out autumn flowering bulbs in containers with a mix of Pro-Grow and Compost. Peel off side bulbs so as to ensure they flower separately.

 

Happy Gardening.

 

Robert Hunt - Executive Director at Veolia