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Garden Centre

The Gardening Month - August
August Scene Lawns
If the weather is hot and dry, let the grass grow a little longer to keep it in good heart.

Wildflower meadow grass can be cut this month, now that the flowers have set seed. Use a powerful rotary mower set high without a grass box, rake up the clippings, and mow again lower with the box fitted. It will look brown and bleached until it rains again.

Pruning and Training
Cut out the first spent flowers on buddleias, so that the secondary blooms appear cleanly on the bush.

Lavender bushes and hedges can be trimmed back now with shears or secateurs, taking the flower stems down to the first leaves, and nipping the tips out of the main new young shoots. This will encourage bushiness and low branching.

Trim beech and holly hedges any time now, once the second growth spurt of the season has come to an end. They should not make further growth again
this year. Box can also be cut this month, as can yew, although it may throw a few further shoots if the autumn is mild.

Make sure tall autumn flowers like dahlias are adequately supported.

Phlox are prone to mildew, especially when they are dry. Keep them well watered and they will flower for much longer.

If you want a stock of pinks or pansies for bedding out next year, take slip cuttings now under polythene, set in a coarse gritty compost.

Keep dead-heading perennials and even annuals to keep flower production at its strongest.

If you want to keep tender perennials for next year (e.g. argyranthemums, osteospermums, pelargoniums, salvias, etc.) begin taking cuttings

Arrange for someone to water patio pots during holiday times. To reduce the plants' demand, move them into part shade if you can, or set a saucer underneath thirsty species.

Kitchen Garden
Pick beans and courgettes hard, to keep them cropping. Don't wait for your courgettes to turn into marrows - unless that is what you want. Let only the last ones do that, at the end of the month.

Plant out new strawberry plants into soil which has been really well enriched with old compost or manure.

Set out plants of cabbage and broccoli into their rows.

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