There’s only one more month before spring officially starts! Get busy prepping your garden for a burst of colour and new growth.
ON YOUR TO-DO LIST FOR AUGUST:
Plant & Sow:
- Spring-flowering seedlings like alyssum, snapdragons, poppies, pansies, calendulas, stocks, cinerarias, lobelias, petunias, impatiens, marigolds, begonias and fairy primrose.
- Vegetables: beetroot, brinjal, carrot, lettuce, spinach, beans, cabbage, turnips, marrows, tomato and green pepper.
- Summer-flowering bulbs and rhizomes like dahlias, cannas, golden arum, gladiolus, spider lilies, tigridia, nerines and watsonias.
- Fertilise clematis and fuchsias once every two weeks with Seagro, Nitrosol or MultiFeed. Pinch out the growing tips to encourage bushier growth and more flowers.
- Start hydrangeas on a blueing programme by feeding them with 25g of aluminium sulphate once every two weeks.
- Cut back bougainvilleas which have finished flowering. Fertilise with 2:3:2 and water well. Stop feeding and watering when the first buds appear, to encourage the development of flowers.
- Feed bulbs that flowered during winter, such as daffodils, with bulb food to supply nutrients for next year’s flowers. Don’t remove the yellowing foliage as this also helps to feed the bulbs.
- Feed fruit trees, vines and berry-bearing plants with a fertiliser that is high in nitrogen, such as 4:1:1.
Prune & Trim:
- If you haven’t done so already, make sure you prune your roses before the middle of August.
- Prune autumn and winter-flowering climbers and shrubs like poinsettia, Cape honeysuckle, lion’s ear, euryops daisy, golden shower, cassias and plumbago.
- Divide and replant perennials like Michaelmas and Shasta daisies, phlox, lobelias, agapanthus, golden rod, cannas, wild iris and wild garlic.
- Prune evergreen fruit trees, such as lemons, limes and ornamental orange trees.
OTHER FRESH IDEAS
Grow your own: Carrots
Freshly picked carrots taste vastly different to the ones you can buy in the supermarket. If there is any vegetable worth growing yourself, it must surely be the humble carrot. Experiment with different varieties, available in purple, red, white and yellow!
Did you know? Carrots are an excellent source of beta carotene (a form of vitamin A). However, only 3% of beta carotene is released during the digestive process when we eat carrots raw. Rather try pulping or cooking your carrots – this ensures that about 39% of the beta carotene is released.
Herb of the month: Dill
Dill is an attractive herb that produces feathery green leaves and yellow flowers in summer. It grows to a height of about 1m and is a good perimeter plant for herb or vegetable patches.
- Plant from early spring until late summer. Full sun and wind protection.
- Dill thrives in rich, well-drained soil, so mix in well-rotted compost prior to sowing or planting.
- Water well during summer or it will go to seed prematurely.
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