Summer is one of the most rewarding seasons for gardeners, with everything from fruits and vegetables to bright blooms at their peak. Taking care of gardens in August is crucial to keep plants and crops thriving, but what exactly should you be doing? These are all the gardening jobs you need to do this month for the perfect summer display.
Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, Emma Locker, gardening expert at DIY Gardenhas shared which five gardening jobs Britons should be doing this week.
Cut back lavender bushes
Pruning lavender is important in keeping a lavender plant producing the type of fragrant foliage that most gardeners seek.
English lavender has been flowering in full glory, but it’s time to cut the plant back if the blooms look a little tired.
Emma explained: “Trimming lavender is essential to the plant’s maintenance and will give the plant a fuller, bushier look when it grows back. Just don’t cut the old woody stems!”
When pruning lavender, it’s important to start with a sharp, clean set of pruning shears.
Wipe down the blades of your pruning shears with rubbing alcohol or bleach to make sure all bacteria and potentially harmful germs are removed from the blades.
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The next step for trimming lavender is to prune one-third of the plant. This will force the lavender to create new and more growth, which will not only keep the bush from going woody but will also help to increase the amount of lavender available for harvest later in the season.
Prune your wisteria green shoots
Wisteria needs regular pruning to keep the growth and size under control, but it will also improve the flowering display.
The gardening expert said: “If you own a Wisteria, it’ll likely have whippy green shoots protruding from every angle right now.
“It’s important to prune these back in mid August as this encourages yearly flowering.
“The flexible green stems will become more durable and woody, which will help support next year’s blooms.”
This controls the size of the wisteria, preventing it from getting into guttering and windows, and encouraging it to form flower buds rather than green growth.
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Plants autumn bulbs
Now is a great time to plant autumn-flowering bulbs, such as nerines and colchicums.
Emma said: “It’s time to plant your autumn-flowering bulbs, so your garden can continue to look glorious even when the temperature drops. “
She noted that Crocus, Iris, Cyclamen and Narcissus are some of the “best bulbs” for autumn.
For those newly planted, gardeners should keep an eye on the soil moisture to ensure the bulbs aren’t drying out once dug into the soil.
The sun can be particularly strong in the afternoon, so make sure they’re able to grow in the warm weather by giving them plenty to drink.
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Protect your berries from birds
Many berries come into season in August, including blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries.
The expert warned: “If you don’t plan ahead, the birds will steal the fruits of your labour!
“You can protect your berries using bamboo canes and bird netting – create a teepee shape out of bamboo canes and surround the canes in bird netting.”
Gardeners can also cover maturing plants with paper bags, and lay garden fabric over germinating seedlings to foil the birds.
Deadhead roses and hope for a late bloom
According to Emma, Mid-August is “prime time” for deadheading your rose bushes.
She said: “This prevents flowers from turning slimy, reducing the risk of fungal infections. If you’re lucky, you may get a late summer bloom!”
As with all pruning, it’s important to use sharp secateurs.
The gardening pro explained: “Prune your rose bushes using a sharp pair of secateurs, as these easily cut through the woody stems, leaving minimal damage.
“I recommend the Davaon Pro 2-in-1 Ratchet Secateurs for the job, as they’re comfortable to use and can cut through thicker branches in a single cut.”