Winter Gardening Tasks in August
This month many bulbs are in full bloom depending on the weather conditions. Daffodils, jonquils, hyacinths, muscari and lachenalias all regularly flower in August. Note varieties that are performing particularly well as you may wish to plant additional bulbs or lift and divide the bulbs later in the season. Read our Growing Bulbs Guide on what to do with once flowering has finished.
Where the soil is not too wet and can be worked to a fine tilth (texture) you can sow seeds of beetroot, carrots, onions, radish, and spinach. Toward the end of the month, you can sow seeds of summer vegetables into seed raising trays that are in glasshouses or a sheltered porch, these include beans, cucumber, lettuce, peppers, and tomatoes. Read our Growing from Seed Guide for more guidance.
Complete your annual pruning of rose bushes, standards and climbers including varieties that flower well into early winter e.g. iceberg. Be careful to remove all old leaves and prunings as these can harbour overwintering fungal. Add fresh compost around the base of existing roses and incorporate compost into the existing soil when planting new specimens.
Be selective when purchasing new rose plants. Ensure they are healthy and have strong growth where they have been grafted.
Make last planting s of winter flowering annuals that will continue flowering into spring, including alyssum, calendulas, cornflowers, larkspur, lobelias, pansies, snapdragons, stock, violas and wallflowers.
Young plants are now in active growth, remove any early flowers at this stage as they will not form dibble fruit. Apply a light mulch of pea straw or finely crushed bark to help reduce the impact of heavy downpours of rain and keeps the young plants clean and healthy.
Toward the end of the month, new growth will appear on roses in warmer areas. It is still too early to apply fertilisers, but fresh compost can be applied around existing plants. It is also the last month for planting new seasons roses.
Ornamental Trees and Shrubs
Azaleas, camellias, daphne, early rhododendrons and flowering cherry trees along with other winter-flowering shrubs are all at their beautiful best in August. Garden Centres are well stocked with new specimens, so it is an excellent time to purchase and plant. First, observe any outstanding flowering trees and shrubs in your local area – it is an excellent guide as to what to plant in your home garden.