Off on Holidays? Prep Your Garden! Plus Your August Checklist

I spent this morning trimming back perennials and other plants that were beginning to look ragged. Plants such as Leucanthemum x superbum Crazy Daisy and Anthemis tinctoria Sauce Hollandaise flowered very well for me and were a lovely treat outside my window, but the weather took its toll on them and so a haircut this morning was vital. I’m hoping that I might get a second flush of flowers before the month is out. I’m ever the optimist!

For those of you planning to go on holidays this month I would suggest that you get your gardening chores up to date before you leave or the work will really have built up by the time you return.

It is absolutely vital that you spray your roses with an insecticide and fungicide (all-in-one products are available) before you head for the sun, as black spot and greenfly are always a big problem and must be addressed regularly. Having said that, I have not always taken my own advice this year and some of my roses are looking a little worse for wear though overall it is a good year for roses.

Hoe beds and borders before you head away as weeds will not be on holidays I assure you, and your garden could be unrecognisable on your return. Unchecked weeds not only look untidy but also harbour pests such as slugs and diseases such as mildew.

Take cuttings of geraniums and fuchsias this month. Cuttings should be approx. 4 inches long and should be cut off just below a leaf joint. Place them in pots in the greenhouse or porch or even on the kitchen window in a mix of 2 parts peat to one part sand. Keep moist but not overly wet.

If you are growing greenhouse crops, remove tomato leaves that are looking yellow and tired. Water and feed these plants before you go way and you will have some nice red tomatoes waiting for you when you return.

Houseplants are at risk of drying out while you are drying out (in the sun that is) so pay special attention to these before you leave. It you are going to be away for some weeks I would suggest that you place them in a sink or shallow bath of water. Do not flood the plants however. Better still, organise for a family member or friend to call in to water them at 10 day intervals while you are away.

Once you have left your garden in good order you can grab you passport and head off on holidays content in the knowledge that your garden will not be suffering in you absence.

Happy Gardening!


Garden Checklist: 

  • Prune rambling roses when blooms have faded.
  • Tie back wall climbers.
  • Peg down strawberry runners for layering/propagating.
  • Cut back fruited raspberry and loganberry canes.
  • Plant out winter cabbage and sprouting broccoli.
  • Clip hedges.
  • Sow late crops of carrots, peas and beans.
  • Summer prune plum and flowering Cherry trees.
  • Feed and water tomato plants.