August is a month of transition from the cold of Winter to the more changeable weather of the late Winter and early Spring at the end of the month. I can already see the daffodils budding up and other plants around the garden showing the signs of the coming season.

The pruning of fruit trees, roses, grapes and any other trees should be completed by the end of the month. Winter spray of copper and conquer oil should be done before the buds completely burst into leaf to get the most benefit from the sprays. As the soil becomes more workable gardens should be cultivated, green crops and compost dug in to prepare the ground for planting or seed sowing in a few weeks time. Some early seeds may be sown indoors so that the seedlings will be ready for planting out in about six weeks time. This month is still a good time for the planting of deciduous fruit trees, citrus and other shrubs.

The end of the month is when I often move plants around the garden as it gives them time to make new roots before they start their Spring growth and the ground begins to warm.

Broad beans will need to be tied up as they will grow rapidly from now on and rhubarb should have a good fertiliser now to give it a good start to the season.

The lawns will need to have some attention as the grass begins to grow, fertiliser applied, moss treated and some aeration where there has been compaction of very wet areas.

Although we think that Spring is here the reality is that it is only the late Winter and we should only be getting ready for the real Spring in a months time, when everything in the garden will seem to be needed to be done at the same time - so be prepared!

The new stock of seeds will be coming into the garden centres along with Summer perennials, bulbs and corms. Get in early to get the best choice both of quality and variety.

The weather will always be the factor that determines our success in the garden so it is better to wait until all the conditions are right before planting, sowing or cultivating is started.

Good Gardening,
Michael Coulter

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