calendula flowers

Gardening in August

August


Many gardens got off to a good start this year as they received plenty of attention and some lovely sunny
weather. New and experienced gardeners should be enjoying some successful crops
and beautiful flowers to reward the gardening work they did earlier.

In the Veg Garden

Runner beans, French beans and Courgettes will keep on producing fruits if you harvest them as soon as they
are large enough to eat, and they also taste better when eaten young.

Carrots and Beets can be harvested when they are big enough but will keep well
in the ground until you’re ready for them.

Fruit and vegetables need watering every day in dry weather and crops like tomatoes, courgettes, cucumbers,
peppers and corn will appreciate a weekly feed with a high potash plant food such
as tomato feed.

Herbs can be given a good trim now to encourage a last flush of growth so that
you will have plenty of leaves to harvest before the cold weather arrives in
autumn.

Ornamental Garden

Everyone loves lavender, but it has a tendency to become straggly and woody. To
keep it looking neat, give it a good trim as soon as it has finished flowering.
Clip each bush back to form a tidy ball shape, taking off all the flower stalks
and the tips of the green leaves as you go, but avoid cutting into old wood.

Deadhead, water and feed container plants to keep the flowers coming. Many
border plants respond to deadheading by producing more blooms too – Penstemons,
Salvias and Roses included.

Seed for Next Year

Did you have any successes in the garden this year? Beautiful flowers or
delicious veg. that you grew from seed or bought in as tiny plants? You can
ensure a supply of the same plants to grow next year by collecting seed.

For vegetables or flowers, leave a few plants to flower and then allow the seed
pods to develop. Once the seed is dry and ripe (usually the pod turns brown and
crisp) you can collect it on a dry day and store it in paper envelopes in a
cool dry place – labelled with the date and the variety.

Check first that your original plants or seeds were not labelled as F1 hybrids
however, as these can produce offspring that are very different to the parent
plant.

If seed is difficult to get again next year, you’ll have plenty for yourself
and to swap for other things with the rest of the gardening community.