IT’S STILL SO BLOODY WARM.
But it’s easing off, so don’t worry too much. What a summer we’re having. As British citizens, we have to thank the Lord for this and make sure that we live virtuous lives until next year. Maybe we’ll be rewarded again?
Anyway, August is a harvest month and a month where we see those early bloomers start to finish up. As depressing as it might feel to be preparing for cooler months, the early bird gets the worm. And in this case, the worm is a peaceful winter.
You are going to have the most delicious vegetable soup next week. August is when you get your knees sore and your fingernails dirty, as you harvest sweetcorn, tomatoes, peas, beans, pumpkins, artichokes, chillies, aubergines and the rest. Your greenhouse has been working overdrive in these tropical conditions, and you’ve got some huge crops that could win the local village contest, but you’ll get much more satisfaction out of that soup. Trust us.
Lots of flowering and fruiting will have finished by now, and you need a little pruning to help keep the plants healthy and active. For lavender rosemary, you should lightly trim the edges taking care not to nick the mature wood. Fruits like strawberries just need foliage stripping, whilst tomatoes need pinching in a week or so. And as always, tend to your Wisteria for goodness’ sake.
Seeding garden plants are going to be shedding, or loosening, around now. You’re at war with birds, squirrels, mice and insects from this day forth. Make sure you’re collecting seeds each day, but don’t get ahead of yourself by picking them off the buds. They drop when they’re ready, be patient. But be vigilant…the mice are out in force.
July was dry, so chances are your water butts are empty. Try not to resort to tap water, but your containers and new plants are going to need some attention. Grey water is your friend here – which is leftover shower, bath, kitchen and washing machine water. Pay attention to the type of detergent and soaps you’re using, but most composts are great at filtering these out and thus provide another way to recycle and reduce water waste. The residues can also sometimes act as a mild fertiliser. Make sure to use grey water within about 16 hours of collection, the sooner the better to minimise bacterial growth. Don’t use grey water on your edibles though, nobody likes the taste of Fairy Liquid.
Eden Restored is a team of passionate garden designers working throughout London, Kent and Surrey.
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