This summer has mainly been wet, wet, wet with a week of record-breaking heat! Here’s hoping August will finally offer us the consistent warm sunny days that we deserve…
August is an amazing month, with kids off school and a nice bank holiday at the end, it’s a perfect time to take a break from your routine and spend some quality time outdoors. Whether it’s relaxing in the garden with friends and family, or simply enjoying some well-earned ‘me time’.
Like every month, there will be a few jobs to attend to in the garden, especially where the heavy rain has battered plants and bedding. The recent wet weather will have created the perfect environment for hedge and shrub growth, as well as non-stop lawn growth.
Due to the wet summer, hedge growth is exceptionally vigorous. However where possible, if hedges can be left until the end of the month before trimming that would be ideal for any late nesting birds. If hedges have to be cut sooner rather than later, then please do check for active bird’s nests before cutting.
I have seen a great number of snails around recently. When you do come across a group they are referred to as an ‘escargatoire’ of snails. They are loving the wet weather and while they are roaming the garden in the night or during the day when it’s raining, they will be on the lookout for hostas, delphiniums, dahlias, gerberas and sweet peas.
If you have any of these and you want to protect their leaves against attack from an escargatoire of snails, then you may want to consider the following action using organic easy to find materials:
- Apply a decent layer of crushed eggshells or gravel around your plants. Snails don't like travelling over rough ground, so if they sense sharp edges, they usually veer away!
- Source coffee grounds from home or a local café and apply a decent amount around the base of your plants. Slugs and snails don't like the bitter taste of coffee grounds and they should stay well clear.
There are all sorts of chemical alternatives available from garden centres and DIY stores which will kill snails but as always where possible its best to choose the organic option.
And now, onto our top gardening jobs and tips for August:
- Hanging baskets and floral displays will need a feed in August, to ensure they have a prolonged season. There are lots of great organic feeds available from Garden Centres, DIY stores and supermarkets.
- Start thinking about next spring and which flowers you like to see. There are a wide variety of spring flowering bulbs available, most of which need to be planted in October.
- Remember to keep your garden irrigated this August… when plants dry out especially bedding, it’s hard to bring them back to their best.
- Continue to dead head around the garden. By regularly removing dead flowers we are actively encouraging fresh new flowers to form.
- Continue to cut lawns (leaving wild areas if desired). If the weather turns hot and dry, you should raise the cut height of your mower a little. This helps to prevent the lawns dying and turning brown.
- Keep on top of weeding, which can be time consuming but well worth it, as weed competition takes water and nutrients away from plants and if left unchecked, they will start to take over your garden!
During these unprecedented times, I believe it’s more important than ever to connect with nature and recharge. We can get so much from gardening, from caring for floral displays in window boxes, to BBQs with friends, to relaxing in local parks and gardens… August is without a doubt a gem of a month!