Digby's Gardening Tips for August
Beware of Pest and diseases.
The warm weather encourages diseases such as powdery mildew -a white coating on stems and leaves. Use a fungicide spray which we recommend
Fungus Clear Ultra.https://www.alton-gardencentre.co.uk/fungusclear-ultra
Check for aphids which can be squashed by hand but if the infestation is bad then use a product like Bug Clear Ultra
One main problem now especially in Essex is the Buxus Moth Caterpillar which feeds within webbing and can completely defoliate box plants. Newly hatched caterpillars are greenish-yellow with a black head, older caterpillars are slightly larger and have thin white stripes along the length of the body. The adult moth has white wings with a faintly iridescent border the wings can be completely brown or clear. The caterpillars eat the box leaves and produce webbing over the feeding area, on recently trimmed plants patches of dieback may be apparent and not to be confused with box blight. If possible, remove caterpillars by hand or alternatively spray plants Digby recommends using Bug Clear Ultra https://www.alton-gardencentre.co.uk/bug-clear-ultra-for-flowering-plants-200ml-concentrate
or use a Pheromone Trap
Digby recommends: https://www.alton-gardencentre.co.uk/buxatrap-box-tree-moth-trap
When spraying either spray early morning or late evening to avoid any pollinators.
Check for slugs and snails
If the weather has been wet more will be around, encourage birds, beetles and frogs into the garden.
Digby recommends: Place crushed eggshells or grit around the base of plants.
Continue weeding borders Group container plants together and place in the shade if going away on holiday and ask a lovely neighbour to water.
Top up pond water regularly as water will evaporate quicker during hot spells remove any fading flowers from around the pond. Remove any fallen leaves from the pond – if left will rot and increase nutrient content causing algae growth.
Apply lawn feed
Use a fertiliser which is high in phosphate this will encourage root growth and toughen the lawn up for winter.
Digby recommends Miracle-Gro Evergreen Thick and Green Lawn food
Continue cutting grass if the weather is hot keep blades on highest cut and remove the box, grass clippings will act as a mulch keeping the moisture in and returning organic matter.
Trees shrubs and climbers continue feeding and watering shrubs and trees in tubs, Deadhead roses cutting back to one or two leaves above the flowered shoot to an outward-facing bud. Prune rambling roses remembering they flower on previous seasons growth cutting back to one or two buds from the main stem, new growth can be tied into replacing older shoots any old stems can be removed completely. Prune shrubs that have finished flowering. Trim lavender by removing the old flower spikes this will encourage side-shoots keeping the plant bushy and compact. If planting in clay soil use plenty of grit as this will improve drainage. With all pruning remember the 3 D’s to remove stems or branches that are
Digby recommends Vitax Q4 Fertiliser https://www.alton-gardencentre.co.uk/vitax-q4-premier-fertiliser-2-5kg
- Cut back perennials that have finish flowering
- Stake any tall perennials that have flopped over
- Continue watering and feeding
- Collect Seeds from hardy annuls
- Keep deadheading
- Take flower cuttings
- Harvest young crops this will encourage more produce
- Harvest and freeze beans
- Harvest onions
- Harvest any early pears or apples
- Plan spring bulb collections that are available instore now.
There is always something to do in the garden but do make time to enjoy and relax weather permitting!!
Check back with us next month for jobs in September. Of course, we are always available to assist and advise here at the Garden Centre.