There's always something to be doing in the garden, whether it's pruning, tidying or sowing, so we've put together our top gardening tasks for August.
In the flower garden
Michael Perry (New Product Development Manager) says...
Think bulbs! The distinctive varieties that Thompson & Morgan offer often sell out very quickly, so get ahead with reserving your selection! Indulge yourself with our new Tulip 'Cupcakes' mixture, which includes some sumptuous peony flowered types in flamboyant colours. Delay planting tulips until November for the best results.
Keep your Camellias and Rhododendrons well watered at this time of year to ensure that next year's buds develop well.
Keep patio container plants well watered and feed with a liquid fertiliser every fortnight.
Stake tall or top heavy Dahlias and Lilies to prevent wind and rain damage.
Dead-head bedding plants and perennial plants to stop them self-seeding and to encourage further flowering into the autumn.
Dead-head lilies for a better flower display next year.
Trim your lavender plants after theyve finished flowering to keep them compact.
As your Penstemon flowers fade, cut them back to just above a leaf to encourage more flowers.
Cut back herbs now to encourage a new flush of tasty leaves you can harvest before the frost.
Prune summer flowering shrubs once they have finished blooming.
Prune your Wisteria after flowering by removing all the whippy side-shoots from the main branch framework to about 20cm from their base (about five leaves from the main stem).
Prune climbing roses and rambling roses once they've finished flowering (unless they are repeat-flowerers in which case leave them).
Collect ripened seed and store for next year. Leaving some seed heads in place can be attractive and allows the plant to self-seed in the surrounding soil.
Mow wildflower meadows now to help scatter the seeds.
Take cuttings of your favourite tender perennials such as pelargoniums and fuchsia to propagate them for next year.
Finish dividing clumps of Bearded Iris now so they have time to form roots and flowers buds for next year before the cold weather arrives.
Now is a good time to spray ground elder (and other perennial weeds) with a glyphosate-based weedkiller as the plant has lots of leaf surface area with which to absorb it.
Look out for symptoms of Clematis Wilt such as wilting leaves and black discolouration on the leaves and stems of your Clematis. Cut out any infected plant material and dispose of it in your household waste.
In the vegetable garden
Colin Randel (Vegetable Product Manager) says...
The recent period of summer heat will have worked wonders on ripening spring planting onion bulbs (and shallots). The leaves should be yellowing and falling over as August progresses, but do not break the leaves as this can cause infection/disease to enter the neck of the bulb and cause it to rot. If the weather turns wet then dry the bulbs off in the shed or greenhouse with sufficient airing. Keep cutting your courgettes - the plants maybe suffering from powdery mildew (greyish white blotches on the leaves and stems), which will gradually cause the leave to brown and wither, but cut regularly to encourage final flower development.
Water your vegetable plants and fruit plants daily in warm weather.
Water sweetcorn plants regularly now and feed with tomato food to get the best cobs.
Apply a high-potash fertiliser such as tomato food once fruits start to form on peppers, cucumber and aubergines.
Continue to feed tomato plants with a tomato fertiliser and remove leaves lower down on the plant to help with air cirulation and prevent disease.
Pinch out the top of tomato plants to concentrate the growth into the fruit that has already formed. Aim to leave 5 or 6 trusses of fruit per plant.
Cut back herbs now to encourage a new flush of tasty leaves that you can harvest before the frost. Dry or freeze your herbs to use in the kitchen later on.
Thin parsley to 25cm between plants so it can establish a good root system before winter.
Pinch out the tips of your runner bean plants once they reach the top of their support. This encourages side-shooting and more beans at a manageable height for picking.
If you're growing aubergines pinch out the growing tip once they have 5 or 6 fruits. Pick fruits while they are young and shiny.
Limit the fruits on a squash plant to about three, but make sure these fruits are established before pinching out the surplus.
Spring-sown carrots and beetroot will be ready to harvest now although they can be left in the ground to keep growing.
Hedges can be given a final trim now before they stop growing.
Water plants thoroughly when needed instead of every day. Thorough watering supports plants for up 14 days, while merely wetting the surface wastes water, encourages weeds and can lead to surface rooting making the plants more vulnerable.
Use water butts as much as you can to water your plants.
Recycle your water - collect washing up water in a bucket outside for watering beds and lawns
Turn the compost in your compost bins every month to keep it well aerated and to speed up decomposition.
Keep bird baths topped up in hot weather.
Scoop floating weed and algae from ponds. Try using Pond Wizard to clear your pond effectively.
Remove rampant bulrushes or irises from your pond before they go to seed and make the problem worse.
Now is a good time of year to treat lawn chafers and leatherjackets with nematodes.
Keep an eye out for white powdery mildew on plants. If possible, remove the affected parts and spray with a fungicide to prevent further spread.
Look for aphids on the underside of leaves - rub them off by hand or spray with an insecticide to prevent them multiplying. Alternatively try using a natural pest control such as Lacewing larvae.
Keep an eye out for scarlet lily beetles on your lilies - remove and crush any you see. Also check for the sticky brown larvae on the underside of leaves.
If your plants are wilting check for vine weevils by tipping your plants out of their pots and looking for 'C' shaped creamy maggots amongst the roots. Treat with nematodes if vine weevils are spotted.
Prevent slugs attacking your young plants by using nemaslug.
Use boiling water as a weed killer on your paved areas. Weeds wilt and die within a few days.