“The hum of bees is the voice of the garden.”
– Elizabeth Lawrence
Some may say that August is the one month when gardeners get to go on holiday with no worries, providing a neighbour has agreed to pop round and do some watering. However, why would we want to go away when August is the prime month for relaxing in our gardens, for pottering and for enjoying the results of hard work from earlier in the year?
August sees our kitchens filling with fruit and veg harvested from the garden. Many a memorable evening can be made by simply sharing homegrown food eaten outdoors on a warm evening with the air perfumed by strategically placed scented plants.
Homegrown vegetables are best eaten fresh, but most years will see a glut in something that has particularly enjoyed the growing conditions provided. Seasonal abundance means jams, pickles and chutneys; preserves stretch the bounty of a productive summer into those long winter months when summer seems so very far away.
- Continue deadheading all faded blooms. Even if the plants won’t flower again, deadheading saves them wasting energy on producing unwanted seed-heads
- Summer prune your wisteria and thus improve next year’s flowering
- Bindweed will be in flower this month. Those white trumpets may look attractive but now is a good time to tackle this pesky weed. Follow the long tendrils to their source and remove as much root as you can
- Prune rambling roses once they’ve finished flowering
- Sweet peas will be coming to an end soon but the more you pick and feed them, the longer they’ll keep going!
- Parsley and other herbs sown now will mean that you have a fresh supply for the winter
- Aubergines will be ready this month. Pick them when they are firm and nice and shiny
- Sow hardy annuals in situ and they’ll bloom early next year
- Hardy geraniums will be looking messy now, so cut them back and you’ll get some fresh new growth
- Help tomatoes to ripen by removing any leaves that are shading the fruits from the sun and by regularly feeding. Keep removing side shoots
2019 Bulb Catalogue
Our 2019 Bulb Catalogue is available to view online and will be hitting doormats this month. Featuring autumn and spring-flowering bulbs, the catalogue also includes winter bedding, perennials, fruit and veg.
Our buyers have travelled to Holland to hand-select our exciting new bulb range for 2019 – many of which feature in our fantastic £5 Bulb Offer!
Pick & Mix Bulbs – £5 Per Pack
Create your own creative colour themes with bulbs for just £5 per pack when you buy any 6 or more bulbs packs from the offer selection. Includes new varieties such as Narcissus Polar Ice, Tulip Spring Green, Iris Germanica, Allium Pink Jewe and more! Take a look.
Don’t miss our fantastic competition to win a trip for 2 to see the Dutch bulb fields in Keukenhof! See page 2 of our catalogue for details.
Tidy Up Time
Bird nests are now deserted (but always double-check!), with youngsters flocking to garden feeders. This means that hedges can be trimmed. Not only will this give your garden an instant facelift, but it will also allow the hedge time to recover and harden before winter arrives with the onset of cold weather and frosts.
What to do with those garden trimmings? Turn them into compost is the answer! Speed the process up by shredding them first. If you have a large volume of clippings, then you may feel the need for a bonfire but avoid burning green material and check that your neighbour isn’t about to have guests arrive for alfresco dining!
Lavender flowers will now be fading, and the plants will look better for a trim. Cut the flower stems back to a third of this year’s growth and this will avoid the woody, tired look.
Christine’s Patch – Holiday Watering
Hi, I’m Christine Loader, Horticultural and Technical Advisor here at Suttons. I have been an avid gardener all my life and have a passion for growing Fruit and Vegetables. When I am not in my greenhouse I can usually be found on my allotment. Gardening has been a huge part of my life for as long as I can remember, and I look forward to sharing my expertise with you in our newsletter.
August is the time for holidays, which can be a real headache when it comes to keeping plants watered while you are away. Hopefully, you have friends and neighbours that can be lured into taking care of your plants – letting them pick your crops is always a good temptation. It is after all important that these crops are continually picked as you do not want to come back to stringy beans and oversized cucumbers and courgette that have turned into marrows.
Make it as easy as possible by grouping all your pots together into a semi-shaded area and putting them on saucers or trays so that they catch any runoff water – this will keep the compost hydrated for longer. Should it pour with rain and the trays and saucers are overflowing with water, they will need to be emptied so that the plants do not become waterlogged.
Have watering cans and hoses ready, and leave some buckets out in case any potted plants have been overlooked and dried out a bit – standing them in a bucket of water will soon revive the plants.
Mulch around your vegetable plants to preserve moisture and stop the soil drying out too quickly.
Greenhouse plants will need watering on rainy days too, maybe not as much as on sunny and hot days, but soil moisture needs to be monitored carefully.
There are also very sophisticated irrigation systems available with programable timers, soaker hoses, sprinklers etc.
The ‘Holiday Watering Roll’ is a unique mat for houseplants that can be ‘charged’ with 8 pints of water, keeping your plants hydrated for long periods.
Enjoy your holiday and come back to a perfect garden!
Schools Out for Summer!
The long summer holiday means parents and grandparents will be looking for ways to avoid cries of “I’m bored” without spending a fortune on day trips. Here are just a few suggestions.
- Have a picnic in the garden
- Make a bird feeder
- Using old gardening magazines, make a scrapbook of things to grow next year
- Have a treasure hunt in the garden
- Build a bug hotel
- Paint a favourite flower
- Visit a “pick your own” farm
- Get creative with courgettes – bake a cake or make something savoury
- Decorate a cake using edible flowers
- Make seed bombs
- Keep a record of all the birds or butterflies that visit the garden
- Sow herb seeds in pots for growing on windowsills over winter
The following gardening events are sure to inspire:
RHS Hyde Hall Flower Show
31st July – 4th August
Taunton Flower Show
2nd – 3rd August
Shrewsbury Flower Show
9th – 10th August
Southport Flower Show
15th – 18th August
RHS Rosemoor Flower Show
16th – 18th August
Plants of the Month
Our start buys this month include three cracking cruciferous vegetables, which are available in packs of value plugs for £6.99-£8.99!
Plant Sapporo in autumn for a late spring crop and look forward to a harvest of tasty cauliflower in April/May. This variety is extremely productive with excellent disease resistance. Its leaves will wrap around the cauliflower to protect it from sunlight in the summer and frost in the winter, keeping the cauliflower with a uniform pure white colour.
Cabbage Plants – F1 Winterjewel
Who says you can’t keep growing in your garden during winter?
Winterjewel displays exceptional winter hardiness and resistance to bolting, so you can look forward to delicious spring greens and compact 8oz heads. A lovely veg to grow during the winter and harvest in the spring.
Broccoli Plants – F1 Stromboli
12 Value Plugs
There’s nothing more satisfying than serving up a plate of winter wellness from your own garden. Stromboli is extremely productive broccoli, so you can look forward to long, tasty florets harvested next year.
Order your plugs today and you’ll be harvesting creamy cauliflowers, brilliant broccoli and sensational spring greens next March-May!