Your monthly checklist for August gardening tips. Our expert knowledge and advice will help your garden flourish this month.
Fruit & Vegetables
Watering & Irrigation
- Hydration is Key: As the summer heat reaches its peak in August, ensure your fruit and vegetable garden receives an adequate and consistent water supply. Water deeply to encourage root growth and help plants withstand the hot weather. Install a drip irrigation system to deliver water directly to the plant roots, minimising waste and ensuring efficient watering.
- Tomato Care: Tomatoes are a summer garden favourite but can suffer from blossom-end rot if not watered properly. Use Hozelock’s Soaker Hose to deliver a slow, steady flow of water at the plant’s base to avoid splashing on leaves. Keep the soil consistently moist, but not waterlogged, to prevent this common issue and promote juicy, flavourful tomatoes.
- Water and Feed Sweetcorn for Plump Cobs: Keep your sweetcorn plants well-watered throughout August, especially during dry spells. For robust cobs, feed them with nutrient-rich tomato food to enhance their development.
- Fruit Tree Guard: August brings ripe and tempting fruits on trees, attracting birds, squirrels, and other critters. Shield your harvest with a fruit tree protector. The netting acts as a barrier against unwanted visitors while allowing sunlight and rain to reach the fruits. Protect your apples, pears, and plums from being nibbled before you get a chance to enjoy them!
- Cucumber Beetle Defence: Cucumber and squash plants are susceptible to cucumber beetles, which can quickly decimate your crop. Introduce natural predators like ladybugs or lacewings to the garden.
- Care for Thriving Tomato Plants: Continue feeding your tomato plants with tomato food to promote vigorous growth. Enhance air circulation and reduce disease risk by removing lower leaves. Also, pinch out the top of the tomato plants to focus growth on the existing fruit. Aim to leave 5 or 6 trusses of fruit per plant for optimal results.
- Boost Fruits with High-Potash Fertiliser: Once peppers, cucumbers, and aubergines start forming fruits, apply a high-potash fertiliser, such as tomato food. This will support healthy fruit growth and maximise yields.
- Encourage Abundant Runner Beans: When your runner bean plants reach the top of their support, pinch out the tips. This encourages side-shooting, resulting in more beans at an easily accessible height for harvesting.
Harvesting & Pruning
- Harvest Young and Shiny Aubergines: Once your aubergine plants have 5 or 6 fruits, pinch out their growing tips. Harvest the young, shiny fruits for the best flavour.
- Optimise Squash Plant’s Fruits: Limit the number of fruits on each squash plant to about three. However, ensure these fruits are well-established before pinching out any surplus.
- Harvest Spring-Sown Carrots and Beetroot: Your spring-sown carrots and beetroot should be ready for harvesting. You can leave them in the ground to continue growing or harvest them now for use.
- Harvest Main Crop Potatoes with Care: As the leaves of your main crop potatoes turn yellow and die back, it’s time to harvest them. Store your potatoes in breathable hessian sacks to protect them from light while allowing proper ventilation.
- Perfectly Ripe Sweetcorn: Determine the readiness of your sweetcorn by gently squeezing a kernel with your thumbnail; ripe sweetcorn will have milky juices. Harvest and enjoy these delicious cobs.
- Store Onions, Shallots, and Garlic: Once the foliage of onions, shallots, and garlic flops over and turns yellow, lift and dry them. Store them in onion bags to prevent mold formation and ensure they stay fresh.
Watering & Irrigation
- Nourish Evergreen Shrubs: Ensure proper hydration for evergreen shrubs like camellias and rhododendrons this month to promote robust bud development for the following year. Thoroughly water the roots using Hozelock’s drip irrigation kits for optimal growth.
- Keep Container Plants Thriving: To maintain the health of patio container plants, keep them well-watered throughout August. Use Hozelock’s Multi Spray Guns to water them efficiently and feed with a liquid fertiliser every fortnight for vibrant blooms.
- Propagate Your Favourites: Take cuttings of tender perennials like pelargoniums and fuchsia to propagate for next year’s garden. Place cuttings in either water or soil to propagate.
Plant Support & Maintenance
- Protect Tall Flowers: Prevent wind and rain damage to tall or top-heavy dahlias and lilies by staking them securely. Dead-head lilies to encourage a more spectacular flower display next year.
- Encourage Extended Flowering: To prolong blooming and prevent self-seeding, regularly dead-head annual bedding plants and perennials.
- Maintain Tidy Borders: Keep your garden borders tidy by cutting back faded perennials. For penstemons, trim the flowers just above a leaf to stimulate further blooming.
Propagation & Development
- Revitalise Herbs: Trim back herbs now to encourage a fresh flush of flavourful leaves before the frost.
- Divide and Conquer: Divide clumps of bearded Iris now, ensuring they have ample time to establish roots and flower buds before winter sets in.
- Tend to Climbing Roses: After flowering, prune climbing and rambling roses (unless they’re repeat-flowerers).
- Protect Clematis from Disease: Watch for signs of ‘clematis wilt,’ such as black discolouration on leaves and stems. If affected, remove infected material and dispose of it properly.
Watering & Humidity Control
- Watering Precision: August can bring fluctuating temperatures, so monitor your greenhouse plants’ water needs closely. Use Hozelock’s Watering Controllers to automate watering schedules, ensuring your plants receive consistent moisture without over or under watering.
- Humidity Management: With warm weather outside, it’s essential to regulate humidity inside the greenhouse. Use the mist attachment on Hozelock’s Multi Spray Pro to create a fine mist, helping to maintain optimal humidity levels for delicate plants like orchids and ferns.
Pest Control & Plant Protection
- Screen out Pests: As insects become more active, protect your greenhouse from unwanted visitors using an insect netting. This finely woven net acts as a barrier, preventing pests from entering while allowing sunlight and airflow.
- Shade & Temperature Control: Prevent heat stress in your greenhouse by using a sun shade netting to diffuse intense sunlight. This netting reduces temperatures inside while protecting tender plants from scorching UV rays.
Plant Support & Maintenance
- Tomato Care: Ensure your greenhouse tomato plants thrive by using Hozelock’s Growbag Waterer. This innovative device delivers water directly to the plant roots, preventing water wastage and promoting healthy tomato growth.
- Vertical Gardening: Maximise space in your greenhouse by utilising modular plant supports. This flexible system allows you to create vertical growing areas, perfect for training vining plants like cucumbers and beans.
Lawns, Ponds & Wildlife
- Water Wisely: In hot August weather, lawns can suffer from dryness and stress. Water your lawn deeply, preferably in the early morning or late evening to reduce evaporation. Use Hozelock’s AquaSave Oscillating Sprinkler for even and efficient watering.
- Mowing Magic: Set your lawn mower blades at a higher level during summer to keep the grass longer. This helps shade the soil, retaining moisture and reducing weed growth.
- Algae Control: In warm weather, algae can thrive in ponds. Use Hozelock’s EasyClear to maintain clear and healthy water. This all-in-one pump, filter, and UVC system keeps algae in check while providing essential oxygen for pond wildlife.
- Beneficial Plants: Introduce floating plants like water lilies or oxygenators to your pond. They not only add beauty but also provide shelter for aquatic creatures.
- Create a Wildlife Haven: Attract beneficial wildlife to your garden by setting up a wildlife-friendly area. Use Hozelock’s Green Power Turbo Gas Weeder to remove weeds without harmful chemicals, providing a safe environment for beneficial insects and pollinators.
- Bird Feeding: Help birds during their breeding season by providing bird feeders filled with a variety of seeds. Use a bird feeding pole kit to position feeders at different heights, catering to different bird species.
We hope you enjoyed reading about the top gardening jobs in August. If you’d like to get involved, drop us a comment below with your plans for this month!