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1 Aug 2021

Top gardening jobs for August

Get out into the garden and make the most of the summer

It's been a bit of a mixed bag weather-wise this summer but plants are enjoying the showers and sunshine.

There's plenty to do in the garden so you can enjoy being outdoors too. Things you do now make a real difference to keeping everything at its best.

Read our full guide to what jobs to do in August.

1. Water patio pots and baskets

Keep your plants looking their best by checking every day if they need water. Touch the surface of the compost and water thoroughly if it feels dry. You could need to water more than once a day in hot weather.

Remove dead flowers to encourage plants to produce more and start feeding with tomato food to keep them blooming until the first frosts.

Try a Best Buy tomato food

Trimming a hedge

2. Trim hedges

Hedges are starting to look shaggy by midsummer so they could do with a trim. Check if there are any active birds' nests before you start and delay trimming if you find any.

Place a tarpaulin under the hedge to make tidying up afterwards hassle-free. Start trimming at the bottom of each side of your hedge, cutting in smooth, continuous swatches. You can use a guide line if you need help to keep the edges straight. Otherwise stand back regularly and check your work.

Watch out video guide to trimming your hedge

3. Harvest potatoes

Whether you've grown potatoes in the ground or in a container, they should be ready to harvest. Push in your fork from the side to try to avoid stabbing the tubers hiding under the earth. The leafy tops can be put in the compost bin. If you don't want to use all your potatoes straight away, store them in paper sacks in a cool, dark place.

Learn how to grow potatoes

4. Cut back lavender

When lavender has finished flowering, it's time to give it a trim. Use shears to trim away the old flowering spikes and the top 2-3cm of leaves. Don't cut it back into older wood as it's unlikely to resprout and you'll be left with bare patches.

If your plants are looking tired, make a note to replace them next spring. It's best to plant in spring so that they have a full growing season to settle in before winter arrives.

Discover our Best Buy lavender varieties

5. Compost grass clippings

Grass clippings will form a smelly mess if they're added to your compost bin in a thick layer. But you can make great compost with them if you mix them up with other things, such as ripped up cardboard. A spadeful of soil mixed into the heap will also help them rot faster.

Learn how to make compost