August - August is a time to relax, have friends round, and enjoy a BBQ in the garden. There should be plenty of fresh produce to accompany your meal.


  • Take cuttings from herbs such as rosemary and sage
  • Pick diseased leaves off roses
  • Cut back rambler roses after flowering to low, new shoots
  • Clip off faded lavender flowers with shears
  • Deadhead lilies so they will come back again next year
  • Prune back summer-flowering shrubs such as philadelphus and mock orange

Tip: Water...the enviromental way

Worried about being a water waster? Do water your garden if it needs it in the summer however rather than reaching for the sprinkler why not install a water butt or three. Water butts should be your first port of call with the watering can, only when they run dry is it time to turn on the tap.

In the greenhouse

  • Sow hardy winter lettuce
  • Grow pots of parsley to keep on the kitchen windowsill for use during the winter
  • Buy spring flowering bulbs for autumn planting
  • Water dormant cyclamen to start them back into growth after their summer rest
  • Make sure tomatoes, cucumbers and other crops never go short of water
  • Feed your plants every week

Tip: Have a head start on hyacinth

Hyacinths flowering at Christmas are something I remember fondly from my childhood. In order to have the earliest fragrant hyacinths in bloom for Christmas or early in the New Year plant bulbs as soon as they are available, usually around mid August. Plant them in pots of bulb fibre, compost specifically for bulbs, or grow in hyacinth glasses. Keep in a cool, dark place for 10-12 weeks before moving to a bright windowsill.

Fruit and vegetables

  • Sow more salads to ensure pickings well into autumn
  • Harvest ripe sweet corn and other vegetables as they become ready, then cook and eat straight away
  • Sow coriander, turnips, winter spinach and spring cabbage
  • Prune fan-trained plums
  • Harvest onions once their tops have died back
  • Lift and pot up rooted strawberry runners

Tip: Barmy about beans?

Beans will keep coming if you regularly continue to pick them. This keeps them flowering and cropping into late summer. Remember thought beans are thirsty plants, so you must water them regularly. Lack of moisture can halt flower production. If you are going on holiday do get a neighbour to pick your crop, allowing flowers to set and new pods to be ready for your return.

Around the garden

  • Give your hedges a trim
  • Collect seeds from your favourite flowers and crops
  • Take cuttings of perennials
  • If you plan to lay turf or sow a new lawn in the autumn, fork over and prepare the soil now
  • Feed your lawn to keep it looking lush and healthy
  • Keep ponds and water features topped up
  • Feed the soil with manure

Tip: Compost lawn clippings

Don’t put lawn clippings in the dustbin; add them to your compost bin. Thanks to fungi and bacteria the clippings soon warm up to improve the composting process. Ensure thought that you don’t add think layers as they will settle to form a solid, wet layer that won’t rot properly. Push a fork into the bin to mix up the material, alternatively mix the clippings with other material before adding to your compost bin.

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Woodlands Nurseries
Crooklands, Milnthorpe, Cumbria, LA7 7NJ
Telephone: 015395 67273

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