Action for August Borders
Jobs to do now for instant results
Keep hoeing those borders to keep weeds down and discourage them from returning once the wetter weather returns.
Buying exotic plants abroad
If you’re going abroad on holiday you may well be tempted by some of the exotic plants you see. The good news is that if you're going to a European Union country then you can bring back any plants or plant products, including packets of seeds, as long as they were grown in the country you’re coming back from.
If you’re going to a non-EU country then there are restrictions and limits on what you can bring back with you. The Food and Environment Research Agency has a useful document and a helpful leaflet explaining all - download them from the Food and environment research agency website.
Check your compost heap – and water it if it’s become very dry.
Prune climbing and rambling roses that don’t repeat flower or produce attractive hips, once the flowers have finished.
Jobs to do now; you’ll reap the rewards later
Take 10-15cm cuttings of shrubs and climbers including Boston ivy, escallonia, forsythia, hypericum, passionflower and Solanum crispum. Keep them under glass or inside for planting out next year.
Plan what to plant this autumn
Think about hardy perennials, roses, deciduous trees, shrubs, climbers and fruit. Conifers, evergreens and anything grey-leafed a slightly tender are best left to be planted in spring.
However if you live in a cold, wet area, delay planting anything until spring.
Check ties on fast-growing annuals that are staked.
Keep an eye out for powdery mildew
This is a dusty, white deposit that appears in hot, dry weather. Remove infected leaves and water well in dry spells, but avoid wetting the leaves.
Prevent earwig damage
Stop earwigs damaging the petals of dahlias and chrysanthemums by setting traps for them – catch them in plant pots loosely packed with straw or shredded newspaper, turned upside down on canes. Check the pots daily and release the captives elsewhere.
Protect against vine weevils
Vine weevils will be laying their eggs now, so protect your plants in containers that you want to overwinter. Bio Provado Vine Weevil Killer2 is suitable for use only on non-edible plants in pots. Or try the biological control Nemasys, which can be used on all types of plants in the ground or in containers.