August is an important time for every gardener – preparing plants for winter and harvesting ripened fruits before the dawn of autumn. So John Stoa has compiled a list of what needs done in every garden before September, with this August garden checklist.
• Wallflower and Iceland poppies sown outdoors at the beginning of June are now big enough to transplant into rows to grow on so they make strong, bushy plants for planting out in autumn. They will establish well and flower next spring. They look good accompanied by tulips.
• Cut off seed heads from oriental poppies and delphiniums, and if growing conditions are favourable, these may regrow and flower in late summer.
• Give a fortnightly feed to tubs and baskets to maintain the good growth that is necessary to support a wealth of flowers.
In The Fruit Garden
• There will be much to harvest in August. Some late strawberry varieties and the perpetuals will continue for some time. Autumn raspberries, some early blackberries (Helen), redcurrants, saskatoons, chokeberries and blackcurrants all need picking and sorting for eating, freezing and making jams and wines.
• Pick the first of the outdoor figs as they ripen, as this will allow others to grow and ripen up. Pick any early apples such as the Oslin or Discovery once they are ready.
• Begin to dry off amaryllis bulbs which have been growing after their flowering period in winter. Hopefully the bulbs will have grown strong, but they now need to rest to build up the flowers for next winter.
• Give a light monthly feed to phalaenopsis orchids as they build up strength before flowering, but do not overwater.
Editor’s pick: gardening tip of the week.