August Work In The Garden

August Work In The Garden

Article by Sara Rose

August In The Garden

The weather in August is often the same as July. Nights are lenghening in August so nightime temperatures tend to be lower.

NEW LAWNSMajor sub-surface drainage operations will have been carried out during the previous autumn and winter. Now apply top dressings appropriate to the soil: peat and organic dressings on light soils (at 2-4 kg. Per Mtr.), gypsum (0.5kg. per Mtr.) and coarse sharp sand (2-4 kg. Per Mtr..) on heavy soils. Top-dress and fertiliseIncorporate the top dressings thoroughly and evenly into the top few inches of soil, and finish by raking to leave a level surface. Apply pre-seeding fertiliser and rake again in several directions to produce a fine, even, moist tilth in which to sow the seed a week after the fertiliser application. If the seed bed has become fluffy during preparation in the summer months, roll lightly or tread the area. Only carry out rolling and seeding in dry, fine weather.

ESTABLISHED LAWNSInspect the lawn and make preparations for renovation of worn areas. Continue to apply fungicides for disease control, and apply selective weedkillers during good growing weather.

RosesRemove blooms as they fade. Blooms required for home decoration should be cut as short as possible. Do not apply rose fertilisers after the end of July, as they would encourage late, soft growth that would not mature before winter. Spray against greenfly, if greenfly appear, spray with a systemic rose insecticide. Spray fortnightly with the appropriate fungicides against black spot and rust, except in industrial areas, where these diseases seldom occur.

Hardy herbaceous plantsContinue dead-heading. Consider whether the plant will look less unsightly if left alone, because plants flowering after July are unlikely to flower a second time if cut back. Most kinds will show new growth at ground level even while still in flower, and these do not need cutting back. Anthemis, gaillardia and a few more kinds, however, are weakened by their profusion of flowers and make little or no new basal growth as flowering comes to an end, so cut them hard back after flowering. Remove supports from plants which have finished flowering, and cut off tall weak stems.

Overhaul old bedsDig over an old bed that needs a complete overhaul because of weeds or because the plants have grown too large, using the same method as for a new bed. This may mean sacrificing the remaining flowers, but it will enable sun and wind to kill all unwanted growth.

Plan for autumnBefore ordering plants for autumn planting from your nurseryman, consult the plant descriptions, and plan the arrangement of the flowers in accordance with their height, spread and time of flowering. A number of borders are illustrated in the October colour section. Order as early as possible, because a nurseryman usuallyexecutes orders in rotation. If he cannot guarantee delivery by the end of October, ask for a spring delivery instead.First estimate the area of the bed in square yards, and allow an average of five plants per sq. yd., remembering to allow more space between robust-growing kinds than between slow-growing ones. Planting distances are given in the plant descriptions, October. Plant a little closer if groups of three or more of a kind are used, to allow 25 per cent more space around the group than between the individual plants in it. To avoid trouble, keep groups with a similar growth-spread next to one another. This is important, since some kinds grow five times as quickly as others.

Choose plantsAlternatively, decide first how many kinds the bed or border is to contain, based on an average of five plants per sq. yd., and then allot each kind a space in keeping with the planting distances.Limit the height of selected plants to half the width of the bed or border, not including, in the case of the backed border, the 3 ft. left between the backing and the border. In a onesided border, grade down the height of plants from the back to the front, and in an island bed from the centre to the outside. To avoid flatness or too much regularity, intersperse plants like helen-iums, which have a flat-topped appearance when in full growth and flower, with those that produce spikes, like sidalceas. Here and there, near the front, place plants of statuesque appearance, such as hostas and kniphofias, so that their ornamental foliage and flowers can be fully appreciated.

Continuous flower displayTime of flowering is also important to ensure continuity of display.

About The AuthorSara Rose Gives Gardening Advice on Grow My Garden Web Site

About the Author

About The AuthorSara Rose Gives Gardening Advice on Grow My Garden Web Site

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