Gardening jobs for August
Water patio pots
Remember that plants in patio containers are dependent on you for their water as they'll get little benefit from any rain. Give them a good soak at least once a day in sunny weather.
Towards the end of the month, even containers which had controlled-release fertiliser added to the compost at planting time will start to run out of steam, so begin feeding once a week with a tomato feed.
Remove spent flowers as they will fade.
Raise mower blades in dry spells
During dry weather, raise the blades on your lawn mower to allow the grass to grow a little bit longer. This will keep it greener and help retain moisture.
Don't panic if your grass does turn brown as it will soon green up again when the rain eventually returns.
Next month will be a good time to give your lawn a bit of TLC to get it back into shape after the hard wear it experiences in summer.
Midsummer is when most of us tackle our hedges as the new growth begins to make them look untidy. If you're using a hedge trimmer, start at the bottom of each side and work upwards in smooth, continuous swathes. Cut the top last.
You can save time by spreading a plastic sheet beside the hedge to catch the clippings. Brush or rake the clippings from the top of the hedge, as leaving them will make it look unsightly.
Cut back strawberries
If you don't want to create new strawberry plants using runners, it's a good idea to cut back plants after they finish fruiting or they'll spread very quickly.
Remove any straw mulch and take out any weeds. New strawberry leaves will soon appear, so don't worry if your plants look a bit bare after you prune them.
Catch veg while it's at its peak and harvest it regularly rather than leaving it to go woody or bitter-tasting. Don't get worried if you have more of something than you want to eat or store, as it's just as useful to recycle it by adding it to the compost heap.