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Chelsea 2008

Garden Thefts & Insurance Policies



August, garden tasks

August is here and for many of us it is the time when we go on our annual holiday. With the garden now starting to produce crops for harvesting it is arguably not the best time to leave the garden unattended.

However, needs must. Before going away make sure your plants don't run out of water, by using an automatic watering system or a friendly neighbour. Either way, when you return you should be welcomed by huge courgette's cucumbers, and more beans and tomatoes than you know what to do with. Take a look at our new preserving guide for storing you excess produce.

Take seed catalogues on holiday with you and pick any new spring bulbs ready for planting in Autumn.

The Vegetable Garden in August
What seeds to buy and sow in August
General tasks

  • Grow and train vegetables, trim tomatoes, blanch celery, protect Cauliflowers. Harvest herbs, and dry excess for winter use.
  • Feed plants with a quick acting fertilizer to keep them in top condition.
  • Take cuttings or divide Sage.
  • If you have not done so already pinch out the tops of Cordon Tomato plants to prevent them from growing too tall. This will improve the maturing fruits.

The following seeds should be sown this month

  • Spring Cabbage
  • Chinese Cabbage
  • Chicory
  • Winter Lettuce
  • Mung Beans
  • Autumn Onion
  • Radicchio
  • Turnip
      The Fruit garden in August
      • Prune cordon and espalier apples.
      • Thin trees and remove unnecessary growth
      • Water trees if necessary
      • Trim and prune strawberries to stop them spreading
      The Flower garden in August

      • Stake and tie plants
      • Pinch out the tops of Chrysanthemums
      • Water and feed sweet peas
      • Take cuttings
      • Re-pot pot plants if required
      • Trim deciduous hedges

      Sow the following seeds

      • Coleus
      • Cyclamen Hederifolium
      • Forget-me-not
      • Myosotis
      • Perennial Penstemon
      • Primula Malacoides
      • Primula Pulverulenta
      • Strelitzia

      The Greenhouse in August
      General tasks

      • Sow seeds for over wintering in the greenhouse
      • Take cuttings, to propagate bedding, tender and house plants
      • Look for Vine Weevil damage (see pests & diseases below)
      • Keep the greenhouse well ventilated
      • Keep watering and feeding tomatoes.
      Feeding Tomatoes

      As the summer progresses continue to feed the tomatoes, but on a more regular basis. Try reducing the amount of feed given in the water to a third of the recommended dose and apply it every time you water, rather than just once a week.

      Black Vine Weevil (Otiorhynchus sulcatus)

      The adult Black Vine Weevil is around 9mm long and it lays crocosmia luciferit's eggs in the soil at the base of the host plant. The larvae which are white grubs around 1 cm long then feed on the plant roots. The larvae damage is usually only found after the plant has died so look for notches nibbled out of the leaves by the adults.

      Plants affected can be quite a broad range, but generally pot plants are a favorite, as are Soft Fruits, Grapes, Hops, and Apples. Also Cyclamen, Fuchsias and Rhododendrons.

      Treat with Heterorhabditis megidis or the newer Steinernema kraussei

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