Greenbelt

Gardening: August To Do List

You might not think it from our recent rainstorms and unseasonal cold snaps but August is normally one of the hottest months of the year.

So, as well as making sure our gardens are well watered, this is also the best time to plan ahead . . .

Winter Wonders

August is perfect for planting hardy vegetables such as cabbage and broccoli. Get them into free-draining soil now and they’ll be ready for harvesting throughout winter.

Fruit Loops

As well as keeping fruit well watered during dry spells, gooseberry shoots can be pruned back to five leaves for extra encouragement next season. New strawberry plant runners can also be placed into pots of compost or soil allowing them to root.

Frame Game

Greenhouse plants can easily become scorched in August, so on extra hot days shade them with netting over the glass and dampen down the floor to increase humidity.

Flower Power

Sow seeds such as calendula this month so they’re ready for springtime, giving you a more established plant that will flower for longer.

Head Strong

Seedheads on plants such as lavender should be left as a nutritious food source for birds and small mammals.

Hedgehog Haven

If you love your hogs – and who doesn’t!? – continue to leave out a water bowl and meat-based dog or cat food. At this time of the year the young hoglets need our help fattening up before they settle down into hibernation in autumn.

Plan It: Earth

Sowing bare patches of soil with green manures will protect them from winter erosion and improve their structure for spring. A mix of rye and vetch will also attract nitrogen to enrich the soil.

For more gardening top tips throughout the year stay tuned to The Green Room.