August in the garden

'We're all going on a summer holiday' – except your plants won't be and you need to get them sorted before you go away. Charm your green-fingered neighbours and make it easy for them – gather containers together, rig up watering systems and go away with a clear conscience. Or you can go all high-tech and water your plants from the warmth of your sun lounger using a Wi-Fi-connected watering system. Whatever you do, make sure you do something to avoid disappointment.

Houseplants are always trickier as you might not want someone, even a neighbour, trampling around your house. To make sure your plants stay well-looked after, gather together your houseplants into the kitchen in and next to the sink. Keep a damp towel in the sink to produce a humid atmosphere that will keep plants growing well a little longer than they would if you left them around the house. A bathroom is just as good but make sure to move plants from windowsills.

Preparing your plants before you go away

  • Check all your plants every day and water accordingly.
  • Rub out any younger colonies of aphids to save yourself the stress later in the year.
  • Mow the lawn around twice a week due to the warmth of the August.
  • Cut back summer flowering shrubs and get the ladders out to sort any unruly wisteria in your garden.
  • Peg down strawberry runners to make fresh, healthy new plants.
  • Keep feeding hanging baskets once a week to ensure a great display well into autumn.
  • You have to take off flowers as they fade on all your bedding for a continued blooming marvellous display.
  • Slugs and blackfly enjoy the warmer weather. Keep on top of protecting your plants by nipping out fresh populations early on.
  • Harvest potatoes when the haulms start to die down and make sure all the skins are set for a few hours before storing.
  • Keep weeding – you can hoe off annual weeds and leave them on top of the soil for the August sun to fry.
  • Keep sowing seeds of fast growing crops to squeeze in a harvest before autumn.

It’s always important to get things in place so that you can relax and enjoy your time away – or even better, only book holidays away during the less busy gardening months of the year!

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