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Gardener's Diary

August 2011

An introduction from Rosemary Martin...

Previously in The Gardener's Diary...

July 2011

June 2011

May 2011


The Gardener's Diary

RosemaryI have been gardening now as a hobby for about forty years, but have no formal training.. I don't have a favourite style of gardening, traditional is nice, but I also think the modern trends work well. 

This column adds a new dimension to my interest in all aspects of horticulture and will hopefully help others find pleasure in this healthy and therapeutic pastime ... 

Please e-mail me with your garden problems, comments, or ideas for this section of laterlife, remembering to tell me which country you are from.. 

Click here for previous editions of Gardener's Diary..


yellow daisyAugust can be a busy month with autumn approaching, but do take time out to visit a late summer flower or country show. It will set you up with happy memories for the long winter months ahead.

 At last we have had some decent rainfall in the UK, but don't worry if your back garden still looks like a desert with dried up brown lawns and trees that are dropping their leaves already; because your lawn will soon 'green up' (honestly!) and next season your trees will be as good as new...

Over the last few weeks our new puppy has presented me with most of our plant labels, so I haven't a clue as to what some plants in the garden are, but it will be fun re-discovering anything that actually survived being dug up by him. The fruit and vegetable garden has been fenced off too, to protect the puppy from himself and the produce from his attention! No small expense!!

 


 

Jobs for the month

August 2011

 

Fruit and vegetable gardening for August  click here

Hanging baskets, tubs and window boxes

In hot dry spells, you will need to water sometimes as often as twice a day. A plant food, such as Miracle gro mixed with water will ensure your flowers get an extra lease of life.. Regular deadheading will help keep the plants flowering profusely. If you have spare hanging baskets or troughs this is the month to plant them up ready for autumn and keep them in a sunny spot until September when they can go out in their permanent places.

Lawns

Lawn care this month is straight forward: a weekly cut or even more if there is a lot of rain causing the grass grow quickly. If your lawn is looking rough and patchy due to poor soil conditions, you may consider applying a top dressing of humus matter in the autumn and/or spring

Shrubs and flower borders

Keep your borders looking cared for and colourful by continual dead-heading of flowers and hoeing. Tie up any plants that are getting very tall and are likely to get battered by winds.

Wildlife

Male and female bullfinchesThe squirrels will be gathering nuts already in preparation for the barren winter months ahead and some birds will be thinking of their long winter journey to a warmer country, so extra food on the bird table will be welcome for all of these friends that have given so much pleasure through the year.. We have rather spoilt the birds that visit us by giving them sunflower hearts.. It got so that we couldn't keep up with them and were replenishing their three feeders twice weekly, at a great expense.. We have gone back to ordinary sunflower seeds and wild bird mix, but they're not happy!

Ponds and water features

This is a month to enjoy the pleasures of a pond, without any urgent jobs needing attention. Continue feeding the fish their full quota, taking care to get a neighbour to continue this task if you are going on holiday. Give them precise instructions on quantities to feed the fish, because too much food if not eaten will rot, polluting the water.

House plants

Continue feeding your houseplants this month according to instructions, making sure they are in tip top condition for the winter. If you think re-potting for a houseplant is needed, it can still be done now rather than risk overwintering one that is pot bound. On a warm day put houseplants outside for a fine spray with your hosepipe to clean the foliage. Not woolly leaved plants though!  

 

Happy gardening till next month....

sneezing sunflower



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