August Gardening Tips
1. Time Saving Tip: The self sown seedlings of plants such as Lady's mantle can be as troublesome as any weed. After flowering remove all the heads before they set seed.
2. Money Saving Tip: Use the skin of citrus fruit to attract and trap slugs and snails. They will crawl into the peel at night. In the morning shovel them up and dump.
3. There is a group of plants which need to be pruned after flowering. Shrubs such as philadelphus and weigela flower on the new growths. Cut old, overgrown plants hard and feed with a general fertilizer. They will recover.
4. Seed of candalabra primulas is best sown fresh. The seed doesn't need to be fully ripe. Pick the capsules now and split them open. The greenish-white seed is sticky so spread it thinly on a peat based compost. Cover with a thin layer of sand or perlite. Germination is quick.
5. Feed roses with a specialist rose fertilizer which contains trace elements. I prefer a powdered form but if the weather is dry, water it into the surface of the soil. Keep an eye out for rose suckers pulling them off as close to the rose root as possible.
6. Sunlight encourages pond weed and green water. Try to shade at least part of the surface of the pond.
7. This is the time to clip evergreen hedges giving them time to recover and cover themselves with new leaves before the first of the winter frosts.
8. As soon as blackcurrants have finished fruiting prune out the older branches. The oldest branches have black or dark brown bark. Young stems are a pale, fawn-brown. Cut the branches as close to the ground as possible.
9. Sedum spectabile is better known as the Ice plant. Butterflies love its wonderful, large, pink, flower heads in autumn. With its heavy, fleshy leaves, it is prone to wind damage. Staking the stems now with canes will prevent damage later.
10. Warm weather encourages red spider mite on conifers. They cause defoliation on picea and spruce. Spray now to reduce the damage.