August is the best time to take cuttings from half-hardy bedding plants, such as fuchsias, pelargoniums, marguerites and trailing petunias, for overwintering. Once done, cover the pots with a polythene bag or place in a propagator and place somewhere warm and sheltered but out of strong, direct sunlight. Don’t forget to pick up everything you need for taking successful cuttings including pots, compost, dibbers, rooting hormone, labels and propagators.
Rhododendrons, camellias and azaleas will be setting their flower buds for next year, so it’s important that they never go short of water at this time of year or the flower buds may fail next spring. Feeding will also produce more and better flowers. Mulching with bark or similar products will help maintain soil moisture levels and insulate the roots from damaging high temperatures.
There’s still plenty of time to really enjoy your garden this summer. Make the most of it by investing in a new furniture set. Perhaps you need something with more chairs and a bigger table – or a large parasol to create extra shade? Or how about a swing seat or hammock to relax in? And remember to pick up any accessories you need – such as cushions, lights and care products.
Lawn preparation for September
September is the best time to sow a new lawn or lay turf, but it pays to prepare the area now. To beat perennial weeds, spray with a weedkiller. Once the old turf has been removed, work over the soil to a depth of 9 inches with a fork and spade, removing weed roots and large stones, and incorporating compost, lawn soil or composted bark. Rake and level the soil, walk over it to settle it, rake again and then leave it bare to allow weed seeds to germinate. These can be sprayed or hoed off ready for sowing or turfing next month.
Gardens are for enjoying – and the summer is the best time to do it. So make sure you sit back, relax and enjoy your garden this year from the comfort of your own garden furniture. Or entertain friends and family with a slap-up barbecue. And if you plan to stay out late, add some easy-to-install garden solar lights. We have everything you need and plenty of ideas to ensure you get the most enjoyment from your garden this summer – just ask, we’re here to help.
Pests and diseases thrive in hot weather, so check plants regularly for tell-tale signs. Mildews and red spider mite are always worse in warm, dry conditions and these can soon get out of control. Earwigs eat the leaves and flower buds of plants like clematis, dahlias and chrysanthemums, and even slugs and snails can be on the prowl at this time of year. If your plants have a problem, just ask one of our friendly staff to help you choose a suitable product to deal with it.
Planning autumn planting
Start planning that new bed or border. Look for plants with a long flowering period and those that have two or more seasons of interest with flowers, fruit, colourful stems and interesting foliage. Choose plants with different foliage colours and shapes, and remember that while evergreens help bring structure and winter interest they may need livening up with deciduous plants. Use winter and spring bedding plants to increase the seasons of interest, and plant bulbs for extra splashes of colour.
Keep your garden looking bright and colourful by adding some new containers planted ready for Autumn colour. Plant them up yourself with favourites such as pansies, evergreen shrubs such as euonymus, and under plant with spring-flowering bulbs.
Many summer-flowering plants that have finished flowering can be cut back now and may produce further flushes of flowers. After pruning give the plants a quick pick-me-up by watering on a high potash liquid feed. Don’t forget to pick up any pruning tools you need before leaving.
Remember to check your roses regularly for pests and blackspot and other diseases, and spray if necessary with a recommended fungicide and/or insecticide. And if your garden is in need of some flower power, roses are the perfect solution. We have plenty of quality potted roses in stock, which can be planted right now.
The harvesting season is now in full swing now, so make sure you pick crops that are ready. Leave them too long and they’ll lose flavour and tenderness. Now’s a good time to sow endive, radish, winter varieties of spinach and maincrop turnips, plus spring cabbage for next year. Having spent lots of time and effort growing your fruit and veg to perfection, protect it from caterpillars and bird damage with fleece or small-mesh plastic netting – or, if you have a large area, put up a fruit cage.
As vine weevil beetles tend to lay eggs in late summer and early autumn it pays to protect vulnerable plants in containers – such as begonias, fuchsias, cyclamen and sedums – with a Vine Weevil Killer. A wide range of pests can be controlled by spraying affected plants with a systemic insecticide. And check out our range of biological controls for vine weevil and other common pests.
Make sure your plants produce a display to be proud of by giving them just the right amount of water they need. Well-established plants may not need regular watering but newly planted ones, bedding plants and all plants in containers will need regular watering. Just ask any of our friendly staff for advice on products that will make your watering quick and easy this summer.