David Hurrion’s August Tips

David Hurrion’s August Tips

Award winning Garden writer David Hurrion’s top tips for August.

  • Keep deadheading, watering and feeding your summer containers and hanging baskets to promote the formation of more flower buds that will keep the display going on through the rest of the summer and into autumn.
  • Soak your compost heap in hot dry weather and cover with a lid or a piece of old carpet to keep in moisture so that decomposition continues. Avoid adding too many grass clippings at this time of year, bagging them up instead to add in the winter and spring months.
  • Move pots and containers to a shady part of the garden and water them well before you go off on holiday, that way you can reduce the number of times a neighbour or friend will need to come in to care for your plants.
  • Continue to pick runner and French beans to encourage more flowers and beans to form. Water the plants thoroughly in the evening and spray down the foliage to cool and moisten the leaves and flowers.
  • Push in twiggy supports around herbaceous perennials such as heleniums, asters and rudbeckias to stop them being battered down during heavy rain storms.
  • Sow an autumn crop of salad rocket in a pot of multipurpose compost. Select a place in part shade and water well after sowing to encourage quick germination.
  • Cabbage white butterflies will be active this month, laying their eggs on brassicas. These will hatch into caterpillars that can decimate your plants, so protect them with netting to exclude the butterflies now!
  • Encourage onions to start their drying process by using a border fork to gently ease up the soil under the bulbs to break contact with the roots. Bend over the stems of the plants as they start to turn yellow.
  • Make more of your plants by taking softwood cuttings of fuchsias, penstemons, geraniums (pelargoniums) and hebes. These are all quick to root in pots of multipurpose compost on a cool, bright windowsill indoors.

For inspiring garden ideas, tips and more jobs to do in your garden this month, see the August issue of BBC Gardeners' World Magazine.