August is usually one of the hottest months of the year - making watering essential. Try to use grey water wherever possible, especially as water butts may be running low if it has been a dry summer were you are. August is traditionally holiday-time, so you might need to enlist the help of friends and family to look after the garden while you are away but our garden watering products like Ibop hanging baskets and the Plantpals will take care of that for you . When you are at home, take the time to summer-flowering shrubs such as lavender once they've finished flowering. You should also be busdy deadheading. Use a gentle hose on Busy Lizy's this is a good dead heading technique
The hydra is the worlds first ‘Intelligent Buoyancy Operated Planter’ (iBOP), invented, designed and manufactured in the UK. The hydra has a three pint (1.7 litres) reservoir in reserve which is taken by the plants automatically on demand. The water level is always visible and the reservoir is easy to fill. No more worries about being away during hot weather and your plants will thrive due to the consistent moisture level.
When the Valve Is Closed:
• The weight of the inner container drops during to evaporation and plant demand. The container then floats, breaking the valve seal and allowing fluid from the reservoir to the inner container as the valve opens.
When the Valve is Open:
• The inner container increases in weight due to fluid intake, overcoming the buoyancy force of the reservoir and closing the valve seal, which stops the fluid flow.
- Cutting back, pruning and dividing
Cutting back the foliage and stems of herbaceous plants that have already died back (e.g. Dicentra) is starting to be a priority.
Don't neglect hanging baskets - deadheading, watering and feeding will help them last through until autumn.
Deadhead plants such as Dahlia, roses and Penstemon and bedding to prolong the display colour well into early autumn.
Don't cut off the flowerheads of ornamental grasses. These will provide winter interest.
Hardy geraniums can be cut back a little to remove tired leaves and encourage a new flush of growth.
Prune climbing and rambling roses that do not repeat flower or produce attractive hips, once the flowers have finished.
Pinks and carnations can be propagated by layering. Propagate irises by dividing the rhizomes if not done last month.
Take cuttings of tender perennials such as Pelargonium and Osteospermum, as soon as possible. A greenhouse, cool conservatory or a light windowsill are ideal to bring them on until they are established.
Rock garden plants, such as Helianthemum, Aubrieta and Dianthus can be propagated from cuttings at this time of year.
General maintenance -
Feed containers, and even tired border perennials, with a liquid tomato food each week to encourage them to bloom into the early autumn.
Keep picking flowers from the cutting garden to encourage more flower buds to form and open.
Alpines that have developed bare patches of die-back, or have become weedy, can be tidied up by in-filling the patches with gritty compost. This will encourage new growth as well as improving their appearance.
Most perennial weeds are best dealt with when in active growth, if necessary applying a weedkiller.
Collect and store seed of hardy annuals and perennials for sowing later in the autumn. Good plants to try include Calendula, Nigella, Cerinthe, Papaver, Aquilegia and hardy Geranium.
Buy or order spring-flowering bulbs. Some bulbs can be planted now, such as Colchicum, daffodils and Madonna lilies (L. candidum).
Pest and disease watch
Inspect chrysanthemums for the first signs of white rust and take immediate action.
Remove and destroy any Nicotiana showing signs of downy mildew. This shows up as yellowish blotches on the upper surface of the leaves.
Powdery mildew can be prevalent at this time of the year. Treat with an approved chemical at the manufacturer's rates.
Apply nematodes to control vine weevil grubs, in pots or the ground.
Earwigs can make Dahlia blooms ragged. Set traps to reduce damage.
Don't be worried by bright green, heavily-armoured looking insects on your plants - these are harmless shieldbugs which do not require control.
Distortion on Phlox could indicate the presence of phlox eelworm.
Discoloured leaves on herbaceous plants such as Chrysanthemum, Anemone and Penstemon may be leaf and bud eelworm.