Garden jobs for August: What to plant, hot weather gardening tips and pruning times

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Having a nice garden is an aspiration for many homeowners, with a range of plants, vegetables and features available to budding gardeners. Part of looking after your garden is knowing which jobs to do at certain times of the year – as the weather can greatly impact plants.

During the summer months, the main job in your garden is to keep your plants watered, as during the hottest days of the year it is easy for plants to dry out.

With a recent heatwave and another surge in heat on the cards for August, watering your garden regularly should be high on your priority list.

As such, not much needs to be planted during the summer months, however, you can plant out rooted strawberry runners in August.

You can also sow quick maturing salad crops if you live in the south of England.

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According to the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) this includes things like summer lettuce, radish, rocket, sorrel, chicory and fennel.

Also for those in the south of England, the RHS advises you can sow spring cabbage, turnips, Oriental vegetables and overwintering onions.

And you can also sow “green manures such as crimson clover and Italian ryegrass to act as a soil improver and to cover bare areas.”

Another key job for August is to prune side shoots on restricted trees, and summer prune restricted apples and pears.

The RHS also advises if necessary to prune nectarines, apricots and peaches after they have fruited.

The experts add if necessary, prune plums, gages and damsons immediately after harvest.

Additionally, make sure to water cranberries, lingonberries and blueberries regularly with rainwater.

If you find your rainwater supply runs dry, you can substitute tap water.

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During the summer months, you need to regularly check your plants for pests.

One key pest during the hottest months of the year are aphids, which can cause damage to plants and see leaves curl.

If you spot aphids, one key tip is to create a mixture of washing up liquid and water and spritz any affected leaves.

The washing up liquid will suffocate the aphids – getting rid of them quickly.

If you have tomatoes or potatoes, watch for tomato and potato blight and deal with it as soon as you find it.

Watch for carrot fly, check for fungal spots on bean and pea pods and leaves and regularly check tomatoes for blossom end rot.

Thompson Morgan advises to sow the following during August


Winter-flowering pansies can be sown now for colour in the cooler months.

Sow viola ‘Pot Pourri Mixed’ seeds to over-winter and provide fresh colour in the spring.

Sow hardy annual seeds like poppies, Californian poppies, cornflower ‘Dwarf Blue Midget’, calendula and larkspur now to provide earlier flowers next year.

Vegetables/ herbs

Sow winter lettuce such as ‘Arctic King’ or ‘Winter Gem’ in modules to plant out later this month.

Sow parsley, coriander and chervil in seed trays now for growing under glass throughout the winter.

If you have a greenhouse you can still sow dwarf beans such as ‘Speedy’ for an autumn crop.

What to order in August ready for autumn

Order Calendula officinalis ‘Candyman Orange’ seeds to sow in pots in September.

Buy in cornflower ‘Jubilee Gem’, poached egg plant, and annual poppies to direct sow next month for early flowers next year.

Order winter-hardy spring onion ‘Performer’ for crops next spring.

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