In August the most important gardening task is to enjoy your garden, all of your hard work throughout the year will now result in a glorious riot of colour, scent and abundance of crops. What could be more satisfying!
A reader has asked “Can I get ahead and sow some seeds now? There are many seeds that can be planted in August, some salad and vegetable crops, for instance, can be as productive as your major early spring plantings. Flower seeds, however, do not germinate if exposed to extreme heat so when you sow always place them in a cool part of the greenhouse or garden. Here’s a list of varieties to sow now:
Salad/ Herb/ Vegetables: Chard ‘White Silver’, Perpetual Spinach, Garlic Chives, Kales, Rocket, ‘Salad Bowl’ Lettuce, Parsley, Radish, Winter Hardy Lettuce, Oriental vegetables including Pak Choi and Kohl Rabi, it is also the last chance to sow spring cabbages.
Flowers: Hardy Bi-annuals including sweet Williams, wallflowers and foxgloves . Violas & Pansies, Hardy Annuals including Calendula (pot marigold), Papaver (Poppies), Cornflowers, Larkspur & Nigella. Perennials including Delphinium, Scabiosa, Agastache, Aclea (Hollyhock), Campanula & Coreopsis. Tips for sowing seeds: • Use seed compost that’s moist but not soggy, not a general purpose compost. The latter contains too much fertiliser. • Add perlite or vermiculite when sowing perennials, as these take longer to germinate. • Don’t overwater and always label. • Seeds can be harvest from the garden and if ripe can be stored in paper envelopes. Perennial seeds are best sown immediately, rather that storing.
Other tips for August:
• Take cuttings of tender perennials such as Pelargonium and Osteospermum. • Alpines that have developed bare patches of die-back, or have become weedy, can be tidied up by in-filling the patches with gritty compost. This will also encourage new growth. • Prune summer flowering shrubs once the flowers have finished, eg Hebes and lavender. • If you are going away on holiday enlist the help of friends and family to water your garden whilst you are away. Whatever August brings, I hope you are able to enjoy some time relaxing in your garden, or visiting others for inspiration. If you have a gardening question you would like answering in the next addition, please send your questions to email@example.com Rachel Sobiechowski BSc (Hons) P&R Garden Supplies, Fengate Drove, Brandon 01842 814800 www.p-rgardensupplies.co.uk