Rosie’s gardening tips for August

Rosie shares her gardening tips and know-how.

Lawns. Our lawns aren’t growing quite as fast at the moment due to the hot dry weather we had during July. To keep them looking their best, try to cut them once a fortnight during August. Don’t cut the grass too short though, or it may scorch. Do continue to water newly sown or turfed lawns regularly.

Weeding. I know that weeding is a constant battle particularly if you’re tackling an area that has been rather neglected. Let me encourage you that you’ll see a marked reduction in the number of weeds next season if you can keep on top of them this year. I suggest that you don’t try to tackle too large an area all at once but keep revisiting the part of the garden that you’ve weeded thoroughly so as not to allow any more weeds to reseed in your wonderful weed free section. The images below show weeds that you might come across.

a weed with small roots

A weed with small roots

The weed to the right, as you can see, has small roots and can be pulled up very easily. These weeds only reproduce by seed.

a weed with long white brittle roots

A weed with long white brittle roots

The weed in the image to the left not only reproduces by dropping seed, it also has brittle white roots and a new weed plant will grow from even a tiny piece of this root as well! So when you have dug these particular weeds up, you’ll need to sift through the soil again (as with bindweed), to try to get all the pieces of root out of the ground. You will, almost certainly, miss one or two pieces and of course, the seeds may have dropped but if you revisit that area now and again, it is possible to get rid of them within two or three seasons. Most of the roots are white which makes it a little easier to pick them out.

Pruning. Everything has grown very fast in the last few weeks so cutting back is a large part of what needs to be done this month. Also, as some flowers are finishing the dead stalks need to be cut out, in order to enjoy the flowers/plants that are coming into their own.

Prune shrubs that have finished flowering and give your conifer hedges their last cut of the season now. Cut lavender back hard into a round shape if possible, but do make sure that you leave a little green growth on the stalks. Prune the new long stems on wisteria down to five or six leaves.

Agapanthus with a bumble bee

Agapanthus

Continue to dead head roses and, on rambler roses, cut out a few of the long stems and shorten new shoots.

Once the flowers on your agapanthus have faded, cut the flower stalks out in order to allow the plant to put all its energy and goodness into producing next year’s flowers rather than into the seed pods.

Feeding. Continue to feed plants weekly or fortnightly this month and water camellia bushes if it’s very dry because they’re beginning to form flower buds for next year.

Happy gardening!

Rosie Fifield

About Rosie Fifield

I have always been passionate about gardening and after many years of just tending to my own, I set up my own successful business. I love everything about it from pruning and weeding to garden design and there's nothing I love more than to spend the day knee deep in my compost heap. As well as my passion for gardening I love going on sunny holidays abroad and thrive on spending quality time with my friends and family.

  • Imogen Jamieson

    at long last I know how to prune my lavender – I even feel quite enthusiastic about doing it! Thanks for the top tips Rosie

  • Deborah Garlick

    Thank you Rosie, my agapanthus is now past its best – do think they are one of the most beautiful and good value plants. Green all year and spectacular flowers. I’ve sent this article on to my husband so he can get on with the dead heading. Maybe in a few days though, they’re still pretty.