Fiveways Gardens...August 2013

Trim lavenders, rosemary and spring / summer flowering hebes now - really.  If not, they get leggy and woody and there's no getting back to the nice compact mound shapes.  Cut back hard, about 2-3 cm into the green growth, not back into the brown woody stems.  Next year, you'll have bushy, healthy plants that don't need digging out and replacing - there, a money saving tip in these hard times.

If you haven't pruned climbing and rambling roses yet, do it now.  Some of you have fantastic wisterias in your front gardens, that we all get to enjoy - thank you.  Now's the time to prune these too.

Finally, some hot, sunny weather - hoorah!  Lawns are looking a bit on the brown side, but don't worry about it, as they'll soon bounce back with a bit of rain.  Sticking with lawns for a minute, check for chafer grub damage now. Look for yellowing patches where the grass will come away easily if pulled, with little or no roots.  In wet weather, the fat white grubs will come to the surface, and you might notice birds taking great delight in hooking them out and lunching on them.   If you have them, there's a natural predator in the form of a nematode that you water on in autumn that's worth giving a go. 

August is the time to prune trained pears and apples, eg. espaliers and cordons.  In essence, this is what to do:

  • Check for sideshoots over 22cm long, which grew earlier in summer directly from the main stem and cut them back to three leaves. Those stems that grew from existing sideshoots or spurs can be pruned harder, to just one leaf beyond the cluster of leaves the base of that stem
  • Leave shoots less than 15cm long until mid September and then shorten to one leaf beyond the cluster of leaves the base
  • Prune growth that forms after summer pruning in September (or October if pruning later)

If you have young trees, take a minute to look them up and read about how best to prune them.  You'll end up with a much nicer shaped tree, if you prune it appropriately while it's still young.

If it's just too hot still to do any actual gardening, why not get ahead of the game and think about the bulbs you want to order for autumn planting.  Get yourself sorted quickly, as the super-organised people snap up all the best varieties.  Also, the bulbs will arrive in better condition and therefore are more likely to flower better (at all...)  Autumn and winter flowering crocus and cyclamens can be planted now to flower in just a few months.  Daffs planted nice and early also make better plants, because they have that much longer to establish a decent root system, to support more flowers. 

Take it easy and enjoy your garden



Office: 01273 500407   Mobile: 07957 751218