26 Jul 2017

August Gardening Tips By Charlie Dimmock

C Dimmock_0191“The lovely long spells of sunny weather means that fruit and veg are doing well, keep harvesting and more will keep coming and don’t forget to collect flower seeds it’s a great way to save a few pennies on next year’s summer bedding.” – Charlie Dimmock

General garden maintenance

  • With the long spells of dry weather make sure that you top up and clean bird baths regularly as they will be struggling to find natural sources.
  • Tidy up flowering shrubs by lightly trimming them, especially lavender, to help keep them compact. Old shrubs can be rejuvenated by removing some of the gnarled woody stems then top dress with compost and fertiliser.
  • A lot of herbs and spring flowering perennials can look very tatty now – cut them back making borders tidy and encouraging fresh flush of foliage and often a few flowers.
  • Wild flower meadows and areas of long grass should be cut back / mowed this month – which will disperse the seed and promote fresh growth in the autumn.
  • Water sweet corn plants regularly and feed with tomato feed as the fruit are filling out – it’s also worth feeding peppers, cucumbers, aubergines and chillies for a good crop.

Flowers and plants

  • Produce new strawberry plants by potting up the young rooted runners – grow them on in 3” pots over the autumn and winter and they’ll be ready to plant out in the spring.
  • It’s worth watering Camellias and Rhododendrons well especially if it’s been dry, as the buds are forming for next year and a lack of water now could mean fewer blooms next spring.
  • Support blooms on large flowered Dahlias by staking them using canes and twine / plant clips as they are prone to snapping off breezy weather.
  • Pinch out top of tomato plants to concentrate the growth into the fruit that have already formed – aim for 5-6 trusses, don’t do this if you want green tomatoes for chutney!
  • To get nice big pumpkins and squash pick off the weaker / smaller young fruit so you leave 3 of 4 to grow on making sure you water and feed regularly.

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