Out Of Doors

Garden Jobs for August

The unusually hot weather we had late July was a real test for some garden plants …( and gardeners)!  To ensure your plants do well, keep on top of the watering especially in hot weather … water throughly.

Image: shutterstockAll plants do best if you water them deeply instead of giving them small amounts of water frequently. When you water deeply, the water reaches the entire length of the plant’s root system. This in turn encourages the roots to go even deeper and makes the plant more drought resistant, since there are more roots to soak up water. Shallow watering encourages a shallow root system that is closer to the surface and dries out quickly.

Plants absorb water through their roots – not the leaves – so try to get the water onto the soil. 

The best time to water plants is early morning – as this allows the foliage to dry quickly which discourages fungal spores. If you have to water in the evening, it is best to water at the roots and not on the leaves, as this reduces any fungal problems when leaves are left wet overnight.

Plants in containers may well need watering twice a day –  early morning AND evening!

Keep removing weeds.

Hydrangeas in containers need to be kept well watered. Rhododendrons and Camellias also need to be kept moist, especially now, as next year’s buds are developing. 

Dahlias are especially thirsty plants – these need to be watched and watered carefully. 

Keep feeding all container plants with liquid fertiliser – once a week if possible.

Prune all summer flowering shrubs after the flowers are finished.

Remove the long whip side shoots from Wisteria to approx 20cm from the main stem – (to 5 or 6 leaves). This will help control the growth and encourage flowing next year. Wisteria also needs pruning again in January or February next year.

Trim lavender plants after flowering to keep their shape.

Recycling tips:

Conserve water wherever possible. Use water butts as much as possible – old washing up water can be used (when cool).

Old carpet can be used by gardeners in lots of ways… to cover compost heaps, lining ponds to protect the liner from stones in the soil, and also use it as a weed suppressant on a veg plot.

Don’t throw away the water when you boil vegetables for meals. Pop outside and pour it over the weeds that are appearing on the patio. Scalding hot water is guaranteed to damage even the toughest of weeds!

Ice Lolly sticks can be re-used as plant labels …. 

Enjoy the summer and sit back and plan for next year ….‘Now’s the Time’… to order next year’s Spring bulbs and perennials for this autumn planting.

By: Pete Harcom

Head Gardener

Sherton Abbas Gardening

07380 642 363

Sponsored by Thorngrove Garden Centre

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