Urgent jobs in the garden for August
- Weed, weed, weed! As the weather warms in August, seed germinates and weeds take over.
- Make compost.
- Prune fruit trees once they have lost their leaves; remove all mummified fruit from the branches.
- Spray peach and nectarine trees a full 360 degrees to cover every facet of every branch, and the trunk, once bare, with Bordeaux Mix or Lime Sulphur. Protect the ground with newspaper and keep chooks locked up if spraying with Bordeaux, and also continuously stir, mix and de-clog nozzle. Do not spray after budswell as buds will be damaged.
- Add potash or woodash (both potassium) to soil to increase flower and fruit set.
- Remove any prunings from beneath trees.
- Rake mulch back under trees and on garden beds to allow ground to warm.
- Place hessian or cardboard around apple, pear and quince tree trunks for codling moth to lay in (remove and burn in 4 weeks then replace).
- Plan spring planting.
- Clear garden beds of dead plants and test pH for suitability for subsequent crops. Adjust pH if necessary (with compost and/or dolomite to make beds more alkaline or sulphur to make them more acidic). This needs to be done at least a month, preferably two, before planting.
- Dig over beds removing stones, rocks, twigs and roots in preparation for spring planting.
- Dig in any green manure crops previously planted.
- Fertilise citrus trees with citrus fertiliser around the dripline. Avoid nitrogen based manures which cause soft leaf growth exposing leaves to damage from citrus leafminer. Use these in autumn.
- Sow spring seeds in punnets.
Written by Robin Gale-Baker