Action for August Top jobs
Must-do tasks this month
Don’t let plants go thirsty
- Make sure the soil around camellias and rhododendrons doesn’t dry out
- Think about using rainwater collected in water butts or you could use domestic wastewater - household soaps and detergents are harmless to plants
- Don’t use water that’s contaminated with bleaches, disinfectants and strong cleaning products on plants (although it’s ok on bare soil).
Control the growth of your wisteria and encourage flowering for next year by pruning it in August. Cut back the new, whip-like shoots so that each is left with five to seven sets of leaves – this will let them mature in time for autumn.
Then in winter, cut back the same stems so that you’re left with stubby spurs with just two buds each. In spring, these will sprout and flower, and the cycle will start again.
This encourages plants to produce more flowers instead of seeds, and keeps your plants looking their best.
Which? Gardening trials have shown it really is worth doing on the majority of summer-flowering plants.
But if you’re looking for an easier life, our gardeners at Capel Manor agreed in a trial in 2003 that begonias, dahlias and verbenas look okay if they’re not deadheaded. And in a members’ trial in 2005, readers thought it wasn’t worth deadheading gazania or coreopsis.