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Gardening Advice Blog

Welcome to the CountryLife Gardening Blog, written by our horticulturist to provide you with the best tips & advice for all things gardening!  We have been shortlisted for Best Lifestyle Blog in the Littlewoods Ireland Blog Awards 2016 Company Category. 

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August in the Garden

by User Not Found | Aug 01, 2012

AUGUST-IN-THE-GARDEN

Flower Garden

Take cuttings of tender perennial, such as verbenas, argyranthemums, fuchsias, salvias and pelargonium’s. Dip the cuttings into rooting powder or gel before inserting them into small pots of half and half peat and perlite or peat and silver sand. Water in well and keep the cuttings in a cold frame or even on warm windowsill out of direct sunlight. They should root within eight weeks and can then be potted up into Growise or Miracle grow Multi-Purpose compost and overwintered in a heated greenhouse or on a bedroom windowsill

Trim lavender bushes once the flowers are past their best. Cut out the old flower stalks and trim a little of the new foliage to help maintain a nice shape. The flower stalks can be tied together and hung upside down in an airing cupboard to dry out. If you like to attract wildlife to your garden you may prefer to leave the seed heads as goldcrest adore the seeds and may visit in early autumn

If you have camellias, azaleas or rhododendrons water them well in dry weather and feed them with Scotts Liquid Ericaceous Feed or Sequestered Iron to encourage the development of flower buds for next year. If you have lime in your soil you may find that the foliage of these particular plants is turning yellow. The lime in the soil stops the plants taking up trace elements, particularly iron. You can alleviate the condition by applying sulphate of iron. In severe cases it is probably better to grow lime-hating plants in containers using Westland Ericaceous composts. Blue flowering Hydrangeas will also benefit from an Iron based fertiliser as they require an ericaceous compost, whereas the pink, red and white ones need a Limey soil.
Summer Colour
Going Green

Pests and disease are often a problem in the summer months when trying to avoid using chemicals, placing broken egg shells around plants will help prevent damage from slugs and snails. Slug gel is another alternative, as is iron based slug pellets. Sharp sand or broken pieces of glass can also deter slugs and snails. Placing jam pots at ground level with beer will also attract and trap slugs and snails. Use copper tape for pots and raised beds.

Roses

Continue to feed roses with a granular rose October, depending on the weather. Continue to spray with Roseclear at fortnightly intervals to keep black spot, mildew, rust, greenfly and blackfly under control.

Regular dead heading will encourage more flowering. 

Rambler roses that have finished flowering can be pruned now. Cut the long old stems that flowered this year, but leave non-flowering shoots as these should bloom next year

Containers

Before you go on holiday try and arrange for a friend or neighbour to come round and water your containers. If they can't come every day, take steps to cut down on watering requirements by moving all containers and hanging baskets out of the sun as far as possible. Clay pots can be stood on trays filled with wet gravel. 

Hanging Baskets
Herbs & Vegetables

Pinch out the tips of the climbing shoots of runner beans once they reach the tip of their supports

Sow lettuce, winter spinach, spring cabbage and Chinese cabbage out of doors

Continue to take cuttings of woody herbs including hyssop, lavender, rosemary, curry plant, rue and sage. Dip the cuttings into rooting powder or gel before inserting them into small pots of equal parts peat and silver sand or peat and perlite.

It's a good time of year to divide congested clumps of chives. Dig them up and divide in small clumps of about five or six bulbs. Replant with a handful of Growise multi purpose compost with added John Innes

Plant rooted strawberry runners now to ensure a good crop next year. If you leave this much later the crop will be severely reduced. 

Place some straw under the plants to prevent the fruit from touching the ground and rotting. 

Continue to prune raspberries and tie in new shoots

Prune gooseberries, shortening the main stems and side shoots to five leaves

Happy Gardening 

Angela.

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Angela's Bio
I've been a Horticulturalist with CountryLife Tullamore since April 2010. I am passionate about all things gardening and have been involved in the gardening industry from a young age as my family had an export plant Nursery and Garden Centre, where the seeds of my garden interests were sown. I have a National Diploma in Horticulture from Merrist Wood College, Surrey, UK. and a Certificate in Training and Continuing Education from National University of Ireland Maynooth. My experience has involved working and managing various Award Winning Garden Centres from 3 to 5 star grades. I also have delivered FETAC courses in Horticulture and evening classes at Athlone Institute of Technology – if you have a question or query on anything gardening related I would love to help!