Forest Garden

Advice for the gardener

Old weather lore saying for August

For very fog in August, there will be a snowfall the following winter.

  • The very first signs of the upcoming Back-End of the Year are showing with flowers dying back, fruits hanging heavy on the trees and those unseen gossamer strands of cobweb clinging to your face in the garden.
  • Tomato, aubergine, cucumber and peppers are being harvested from the greenhouse and outside.  Runner beans, cabbages, spinach beet and chard are ready in the garden.
  • Onions should be drying off in the garden and lifted and stored in a well aired, dry location before rain fall.
  • Keep feeding and foliar protecting the roses and collect up all diseased leaves – do NOT put them on the compost heap.
  • Continue to dead head plants and flowers to encourage continuous colour.
  • You must water in dry weather, particularly pots, containers, hanging baskets, planters and of course the greenhouse.
  • Towards the end of the month, net the pond to stop leaves falling in and rotting.  Keep water levels topped up.
  • If you have not got one, order your favourite seed catalogue and don’t forget to download the Forest Garden brochure with mouth-watering ideas for your garden.
  • Keep turning the compost heap over.

LAWNS

The summer growth rate is starting to ebb away and in dry weather leave the collector box off the mower to provide a nutrient rich feed for the grass. If you have a powered scarifier, make sure it is in good order for use later in the year. Now is a good time for spot weeding on the lawns as the grass has time to regrow over the defoliated areas before winter.

ROSES

There should still be plenty of colour in most of the roses and they will repay you for a regular feed and foliar treatment. It is vitally important to pick up all yellow and diseased rose leaves and do not compost them.  Regularly dead-head roses and cut them down to the next budding point.  In really dry weather give them a regular drink. This is particularly important for standard roses.

THE HERBACEOUS BORDER

Keep on top of the weeds and dead head all plants that have finished flowering. Remove supports from tall plants that have flowered and cut back towards the base. Dig over areas that you plan to develop for next season.

SWEET PEAS

It is essential to remove all peas that have formed where flowers have not been picked. Do not leave them on the plants. Pick flowers very regularly as this does encourage more. Keep the base of the plants weed free and well watered giving an occasional liquid feed.

LILIES

The majority are coming to the end of their annual flowering gala so dead head immediately. Keep them watered. If you have an area of the garden where you over winter lilies in pots, make sure it is clean and pest (slugs and snails) free before moving the plants into position. Check regularly for the bright red lily beetle

THE GREENHOUSE

Repair all broken window panes and woodwork in readiness for winter.   Check the heating systems and make sure the windows open easily and close fully. It will still be a hive of activity with all sorts of fruits and vegetables being harvested. Keep the door and window open in the day time but close the doors up at night. Forest Garden has a superb range of wooden greenhouses from the traditional wooden Vale range to the beautiful Victorian Walkaround Greenhouse and Victorian Tall Wall Greenhouse. A cold frame can extend your growing season by several weeks in the autumn and spring. You can view our large timber cold frame and the full greenhouse range on www.forestgarden.co.uk

PLANTERS AND RAISED BEDS

We have an extensive range of Forest planters and raised beds which can be viewed at www.forestgarden.co.uk  For the established ones August is a busy time. Keep all plants neat and tidy and stop them spreading too much. Keep them well watered and regularly fed and remove all spent flower heads and leaves.