August in the UK is usually one of the warmest months of the year. Plenty of sunshine and average highs of 21° make for great gardening conditions. To help keep your garden blooming here’s our top 7 garden care tips for August.
1. Keep your garden hydrated
Given the balmy weather in August, it’s important to stay on top of watering your flowers, shrubs and vegetables. There’s no set rule for how much or little you need to water as each species has different requirements. This helpful guide has plenty of tips based on different plants.
When hydrating, plants only take in water through their roots, not their leaves, so aim for the tip of the roots. Potted plants often need more water as the volume of soil where they’re absorbing water from is smaller and more restricted.
During the summer months especially, it’s important to be as economical with water as possible. Droughts lead to shortages so try and be creative with different water-saving techniques. You can harvest rainwater with ‘water butts’ and place saucers under potted plants so they continue to absorb excess water. Here’s some handy tips on this from RHS.
2. Prune and trim plants and flowers
During August, deadheading is an important task to help extend the blooming cycle. Once your flowers have bloomed, removing the head or the source of the seed will help restart the blooming process.
Deadheading is simple and you can either use your fingers to simply pinch off the dead flower head, use a pair of scissors or, for larger flowers, a pair of pruners will work fine.
This is also a good time to cut back any herbs to encourage new growth that you can harvest before the winter chill sets in.
3. Collect and save your seeds
August is an ideal time to start collecting seeds in your garden - a free and easy way to grow more plants and shrubs! It’s often best to harvest seeds after a period of dry weather during mid-morning when dew will have evaporated.
As an approximate guide, seeds are set roughly two months after flowering and this is indicated through a change in colour - usually green to brown. Once you’ve collected the seedheads, place them on a windowsill, in the greenhouse or an airing cupboard so the seeds can be easily extracted.
4. Introduce some Autumn colour
Cooler months don’t have to mean your garden should lack in colour. It’s all about choosing wisely and taking some time in August to plant those blooms that are more tolerant of cooler conditions.
Asters, Anemones, Autumn Crocuses, Helianthus and Hesperantha will all add a dash of colour with some flowering right up to Christmas.
5. Eliminate weeds
As the growing season begins to slow, those pesky weeds will begin to calm. However, this is the time they begin to produce seeds that will start germinating in Spring if neglected.
During August, the best time to weed is in wet conditions. So just after some rainfall or once your garden has been irrigated. This helps to remove weeds from the roots, preventing them from resprouting.
Once you’ve removed weeds, pour a layer of mulch over the surface area to prevent light from seeping through and encouraging regrowth. Organic mulch is a great option as this often contains living bugs which seek out and eat weed seeds.
We hope these tips help you to keep your garden on point during August and into Autumn. If you have any other tips, be sure to share them with us on social media.