Stoke Mandeville Head Gardener, Jacqui Martin-Löf, shares how you can get the best out of your gardens this August.
After an exceptionally hot July, one of the hottest ever on record we have yet to see if the heat continues on through August. It’s officially the last month of the summer so it’s time to get outside and enjoy every moment in your garden! As well as taking time out to sit and absorb the sights, sounds and scents of the garden there is still plenty to be getting on with.
Here in Horatio’s Garden Stoke Mandeville, we have a wonderful team of very dedicated volunteers, busy working in the garden every day.
Some jobs for the sultry month of August;
• Top of our list is deadheading flowering plants to encourage repeat flowering, in particular sweet peas. Enjoy your sweet scented sweet peas in doors by daily pickings!
• Some seeds are ready for collecting on dry warm days. It is a wonderful way to engage children in the process of seed collecting, then seed sowing
• Several of our lovely plants have established themselves all over the garden. Seedlings can be carefully lifted and potted up
• Keep ponds, water features and bird baths topped up
• Pull up weeds as soon as you notice them, before they become too established and go to seed
• If growing tomatoes, continue feeding and remove lower leaves to keep air flowing to avoid disease
• Stake tall perennials to prevent wind and rain damage.
• We have been enjoying harvesting potatoes (both early and maincrop), peas, carrots, strawberries, lots of fresh; mint, several varieties of basil, tarragon – so continue enjoying your harvesting!
As well as continuing on working in the garden remember to take time to evaluate the garden for both successes and failures and to decide on some changes for next year. A good idea is to take plenty of photographs – this enables rearranging some plants over winter with the support of photographic reference.
Happy gardening all!