Keep yourself busy in the warm weather, then enjoy…
Although August is officially the last month of the summer, there’s still plenty of warm weather to enjoy the garden in-between chores. It’s also a good moment to cast a critical eye over your domain and decide what you’d like to change for next year.
This month’s must-dos include watering camellias and rhododendrons thoroughly to make sure next year’s buds develop well. Obviously you need to keep patio container plants well watered, too, as these should still be producing a good show. As penstemon flowers fade, cut them back to just above a leaf to encourage more flowers, and trim herbs now to encourage a new flush of leaves to harvest before the cool weather returns.
Tip of the month
Strip off excess leaves on tomato plants near the end of the growing season to help the fruits to ripen up
Q: Is it true that when sweet peas have finished for the season you can simply cut them off at the base and leave the roots behind like you do with runner beans?
A: Sweet peas are legumes, so they work in much the same way as runner beans in terms of ‘fixing’ nitrogen via nodules on the roots. They also have a lot of nitrogen value in the above-ground part, so you can either cut them and add them to the compost heap or bury the plant directly into your plot once its season is over. They’ll be a valuable source of nutrition for future plants or crops being grown there.
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