Laura Allison August column

Well, school holidays are nearing an end which means the better weather will soon be here again. In August there are still lots of things to do in your garden.

* Dead-heading will prevent all the energy of your plants going to producing seeds, and make for a more prolonged flowering season, this is particularly important for hanging baskets and pots.

* Feed wth a liquid feed (rather than a slow release fertilizer) to give an instant boost to your flowers.

* Prune rambling roses if flowering has finished.

* Hedges can be tidied up. I've just clipped my beech hedge-what an improvement. I can now see my japanese maple from the road.

* Seeds can be collected from poppies and other perennials. Sow the seeds in the spring for a great summer display, but remember to label them!

* Continue to harvest your herbs as this will prolong their productivity.

* Now is the time to think about spring bulbs as they will be in the shops soon.

* Autumn planting onions and garlic will soon be available too. I've just harvested my garlic which I planted in november- smells fabulous.

* If you have a greenhouse, buy winter bedding as plug plants and grow them on.

* This is also the time to sow winter crops such as spring cabbage; spring onions( 'White Lisbon' is a good winter hardy variety); spinach; and turnip.

* Sow green manure. Mustard is a good quick growing crop.

* Encourage tomatoes to swell and ripen by cutting off the growing tip. Don't worry about the leaves turning yellow and dropping off this is normal. Collect them up and put them in the compost bin.

I hope this has given you some ideas for your garden.

Till next month, happy gardening !!


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