Garden calendar August 2019
- Summer flowering bulbs to plant this month include hippeastrums, gladioli, as well as Oriental and Asiatic liliums. Also dahlia tubers can be planted now for a summer explosion of flower.
- Divide perennials such as cannas, daylilies, agapanthus and red-hot pokers.
- There is still time to plant out deciduous fruiting as well as ornamental trees before the new season’s shoots begin to swell.
- Sow seeds of warmth loving vegetables such as tomatoes and capsicums indoors in pots, trays or Jiffy pots so you can transplant early in September.
- Feed the whole garden in anticipation of new growth. Baileys Blood and Bone Mix and Baileys Energy Garden will do the trick.
- Spring flowering bulbs will be bursting into bloom. Don’t forget to feed these plants at the flowering stage to help them build starch reserves for next year’s flower development.
- Hydrangeas can be colour fed now. For more intense pink colours spread lime around the base of the plant. Blues can be made stronger with a blueing tonic.
- Once Camellias have finished flowering they are set to make their one giant growth spurt for the year. Feed with Baileys Energy Garden so you can fuel this growing activity
Pruning and Maintenance
- Lightly trim back summer and autumn flowering evergreen shrubs such as hibiscus, many grevilleas, oleander, gardenia, many ornamental grasses, geranium, canna, salvia, plumbago, cistus rock rose, Chinese lantern or abutilon and tibouchina.
- To keep indoor cyclamen happy and cool put them out when you go to bed onto a cold patio.
- Trim hedges to keep them neat for most of winter as there is little growth likely to happen for the next couple of months.
- Cut back the fern like fronds of asparagus to the ground so that new edible shoots will pop above the ground ready for harvest.
- Now that grape vines have dropped their foliage it’s time to do the annual pruning. It’s a good practise to apply a spray of lime sulphur after pruning to kill off fungi such as mildew.
- Get those roses pruned as soon as possible if you didn’t get them done in July. A thorough dowsing with lime sulphur spray once you have finished will sort out many fungal problems before they can get started. The same applies to grape vines, a spray on bare stems cleans out fungal spores even in the crack of bark.
- Mulching the whole garden now will knock weeds for six and that’s important because they can compete massively for nutrients in the spring. Use a fully composted mulch such as Baileys Moisture Mulch.
- Prune poinsettia hard (back to leafless trunks) to develop a compact bushy shape and for improved flowering next year.
- Fuchias just love the cooler months and get growing quickly. Make them bushier by pinching out the soft growth tips between your thumb and forefinger. This causes two shoots to replace the original one and each has the potential to bloom so you improve the flower production too. This is also a good time to take cuttings of fuchsias to increase your collection.
- Out in the garden it’s worth preparing a vegetable garden for the upcoming spring. Each season brings with it a complete change of crops to grow. Prepare with a rich compost such as Baileys Soil Improver Plus and Blood and Bone Mix.
- Root-prune non-productive fig and plum trees to shock them into bearing. This consists of plunging a sharp spade through the roots around a metre out from the main trunk. Do this in a hit and miss fashion so that you only cut half the roots in the circle.
- New lawns can be started now from seed, turf or runners. Use Baileys Lawn Reviver or Soil Improver Plus to give your sand some real body before planting.
- New season weeds can invade lawns, the best solution is to feed your lawn and mow it every week to cut off the weeds top growth before it can get into top gear. Use 4.1.1. at this time of year.
- Treat moss infested areas of lawn with sulphate of iron diluted in water. Remember that moss thrives in areas of poor drainage so aerating the soil can often help fix the problem.
- Vertimowing is worth doing if your couch, buffalo or kikuyu lawn is spongy. Once you have de-thatched the lawn, the regular use of organic fertilisers and kelp-based tonics will encourage microbes to naturally remove the dead stems and foliage that lead to a build-up of thatch in the future. Try Baileys Energy Turf and Liquid Kelp.
- Rampaging snails and slugs can reduce seedlings and bulb foliage to shreds overnight. Try hand picking at night by torchlight. Chooks love a feed of fresh escargot.