F OR AUGUST
JOBS IN THE GARDEN
There’s lots of pruning, deadheading and harvesting to be done in August, so if you’re off on your holidays make sure you get some help for your garden or plan ahead. Of course take time to enjoy the garden but gardeners never stop and it may be high summer but it’s also time to start preparing for the autumn vegetable patch and start to sow flowers for next spring.
Time for more broad beans?
Deadhead as much as you can A key task for the month is to deadhead to try and keep all the colour blooming in the garden. You will be able to keep roses going with daily heading and that has to be a bonus. Sweet peas, pelargoniums and cosmos will keep blooming if you deadhead them very regularly, thwarting any signs of a midsummer fade. When you go out watering take a bucket with you and get used to throwing in tired blooms.
It is possible to get a second crop of broad beans especially if the summer is good. In late July and early August, when the broad bean plant has finished, cut down the stem close to the ground about 15 cms near a growing point and give it a feed. On a good year it will re grow and produce a second, lighter smaller crop, but perfectly acceptable producing fresh broad beans in late summer/early autumn. It doesn’t cost you anything and with decent weather extends the season considerable.
WASP ALERT Wasps are a nuisance only late in summer when their queen stops rewarding them with sugary treats so they set out to find other sources, usually picnic-based. The rest of the year they are brilliant predators of garden pests. But if they are becoming too troublesome you can try a wasp trap from trapawasp.co.uk to draw them away from your picnic.
ITS CRUNCH TIME FOR CARING FOR YOUR TOMATOES August is often a critical time to make sure your tomato harvest is the best it can be. Damp weather can see blight appear and too often neglected tomato plants are allowed to waste their energy by producing masses of unnecessary leaves. On going tomato care is really important as the plants start to fruit. Even after pinching out the growing points to stop the tomato growing any taller, as tomatoes grow vigorously if allowed, you will need to keep on pinching out all top growth. The plant will keep growing, keep pinching out and removing leaves so all energy goes to the fruit. This is also the most important time for regular watering and feeding to ensure a good crop of sweet tasting tomatoes. Without the right amount of water and feeding, there will be tomatoes, but of poor quality. www.countrygardener.co.uk
The August 2019 issue of Cornwall Country Gardener Magazine