The weather we've enjoyed this summer has truly spoilt us, with the glorious sunshine hopefully continuing over the August Bank Holiday too.
Even if the weather isn’t up to scratch, it will still be a great time to get your garden looking its best, allowing you to make the most of your extra time outside.
To set you on your way, Senior Plant Buyer at Dobbies, Louise Golden, is offering her tips for your Bank Holiday plan of action - getting the preparation in now will ensure your garden's ready for Christmas...
1. August maintenance
August is the time when you'll want to relax in the garden, making the most of those long summer evenings. The key thing to remember for the remainder of the month is to water your plants - particularly if you have any container-grown plants or border plantings that are not yet established. Regularly feeding and dead heading the plants will help to ensure the garden stays looking its best until autumn.
2. Terraced impact
If you have a terraced garden, you should maintain a good display of summer colour by regularly watering your container plants. During the warmer weather, you will want to do this daily, while you should also add a balanced liquid fertiliser every other week to encourage strong and healthy growth, with continual flowering through to autumn. You should then remove the spent flowers to encourage more to follow.
3. Compost revival
Remember to refresh your compost. It's likely to be exhausted from the summer season.
4. Get shady
If you're making the most of the long weekend and going away for a few days, you should think about moving your containers into the shade - this will help to reduce any drying out.
5. Lawn care
Keep your lawns healthy with regular mowing. By keeping the blades that bit higher, you'll help the grass to resist any extra summer wear.
6. Prune with impunity
If you haven't already done so, you should prune the spring and early summer flowering shrubs, including Deutzia, Weigela and Philadelphus, to ensure they're kept in check. Removing spent branches with secateurs or loppers will allow new growth to mature so they will carry the next year's display. If you'd like to extend the season of colour, you can do so in borders with high summer shrubs such as Lavenders, Acers, hardy Fuchsias, Hydrangeas and Cotinus.
7. Mind the gap
If you're starting to see gaps appear in your beds and borders, the best time to plant bulbs, including Alliums, Crocus, daffodils, Narcissi and snowdrops, will be early autumn. You can water any new plantings that are not yet established - it's better to give a thorough soak every few days instead of a little more often. This encourages the roots to grow down into the soil instead of towards the surface. You can then add a thick layer of mulch as a way of retaining the moisture.
8. Weed as you go
Weeds will grow quickly in the warm temperatures. Therefore, use the extra time this weekend to keep them in check before they can get established, digging out the perennial weeds before they can get started.
9. The herb cycle
Cut back herbs, including chives, mint and parsley, if they’re look tired. This encourages fresh new growth and helps to ensure you get a continued supply.
10. Food for tomatos
You should keep watering tomato plants consistently and regularly by adding a high potash tomato feed – this provides healthy growth and fruiting.
11. Christmas prep
Late August and early September will be the best time to plant potato seeds if you’re planning to have your own homegrown spuds for Christmas.
Tips courtesy of Dobbies Garden Centre