Garden Care In August: Preparing for Autumn
The summer has just about slipped by us, and we will soon be greeted by the changing colours of autumn. While the sun still lingers on in August, the changing weather that autumn brings is beginning to sweep in so now is the time to make some preparations to get your garden in gear for the colder weather that’s waiting around the corner.
You can start with the following gardening tips for autumn:
1. Liquid feeding will extend the flowering season
Don’t give up on your plants just yet. If you want your colourful display to extend into late October, liquid feeding is essential, especially for fruiting plants. Start now and continue every day right until the start of October.
2. Remove dead heads and branches
Your flowers (particularly roses, annuals like peony, bearded iris, daylily and salvia and perennials like lavender, Russian sage, yarrow and sea holly), shrubs and small trees can blossom well into late autumn if you carefully prune and remove dead heads and branches.
Continue to monitor and remove dead heads and branches throughout autumn to get the most from your plantings.
3. Introduce autumn flowering
If you feel your garden is losing its colourful summer vibrancy, introduce some autumn flowering. Dahlias, Camellia, Hibiscus, Double Perennials and Chrysanthemum are all flowers that flourish in the autumn making them ideal for adding an instant burst of colour that will revitalise your garden.
4. Now is the time to plant your hedging plants
Despite the incredible heat that the early summer months brought, if it has been maintained, your soil should be in prime condition to plant your hedging and screening plants in August. Planting them now will give them optimum room for growth and the opportunity to settle in before the winter months.
5. Seed your autumn vegetables
Vegetables like spinach, radish, lettuce and other greens can tolerate cooler temperatures and light frost, so now is the perfect time to plant them. They will blossom in time for you to reap the rewards before any severe winter weather sets in.
6. Cover any empty areas of your vegetable garden
If your tomatoes, beets, beans and other summer vegetables have been harvested and you find yourself with lots of empty space in your vegetable garden, even with your autumn sows, cover any empty patches with garden matting to protect the area from weed growth.
7. Step back on greenhouse shading
Such was the intense sunshine of the summer months that you likely introduced every type of shading possible to your greenhouse. That intense summer heat has long passed now, and as we move into September, sunlight becomes less and less frequent so it’s time to strip back your greenhouse shading so that your plants and shrubs can soak up what minimal sunlight is available.
8. Regularly clear the lawn
As the autumn leaves begin to fall, ensure to regularly clear them off the lawn so that the grass is not deprived of light. If leaves are left to sit on the lawn, you will eventually be left with brown patches and growths of moss.
9. Switch your lawn fertiliser
Use an autumn fertiliser on the lawn to help strengthen it ahead of the winter months. You should avoid using your regular fertiliser at this stage of the year as their formula is designed to make the lawn grow faster and therefore more liable to frost.
Garden care is just as crucial in autumn as in spring. All is not lost once the summer months come to an end, you can still enjoy the fruits of your garden for many months to come and set your garden up for the harsh winter by taking the simple steps above.