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August.........A helpful collection of garden tasks and jobs


 
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James Kilkelly
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Joined: 30 May 2006
Posts: 2142
Location: West of Ireland

PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2006 9:52 pm    Post subject: August.........A helpful collection of garden tasks and jobs Reply with quote

Continue to pick summer fruit.
Don't forget to make those jams and jellies.
Cut out fruited canes of summer raspberries and tie in new canes to fruit next year.
Select strong, healthy canes and cut out weak, forked or misplaced ones.
Tie in new growth on blackberries.
Start picking apples and blackberries for use in pies and desserts.
Gather apple scab affected leaves from diseased apples and pears.
Do not compost these but instead consign to the dustbin or burn.
If bacterial canker has a been a problem on plums and cherries, then prune out affected smaller branches, wait until harvest is complete, and spray with fungicide.
Treat strawberries with fungicide if powdery mildew is serious.

You can still sow quick maturing salad vegetables such as summer lettuce, radish, rocket, sorrel, chicory and fennel.
Continue to sow spring cabbage, turnips, Oriental vegetables and overwintering onions.
Weeds can also compete with vegetables for water, and act as hosts for pests and diseases, so should be removed regularly.
Lift onions, shallots and garlic when ready.
Plants should be harvested when the necks start to turn brown and papery, and bend over naturally.
Avoid actively bending the necks, as this can let in disease.
Once harvested, let the tops dry until they rustle like brown paper, and then remove them.
Regularly pick fast maturing vegetables such as French beans, runner beans, courgettes, cucumbers and tomatoes, to prevent stringiness or toughness, and to encourage further cropping.
Excess pickings can be frozen.
Courgettes being left to grow into marrows should be raised off the ground slightly, to prevent them rotting from contact with the soil.
Some older leaves can be removed, if necessary, to maximise sun upon the fruit.
Take care when thinning out any late sown carrot seedlings; to protect them from carrot fly use fleece coverings.
After clearing old crops, place black plastic over bare areas of ground to suppress weed growth.

Don't neglect hanging baskets - deadheading, watering and feeding will help them last through until autumn.
Feed containers and even tired border perennials, with a liquid tomato food each week to encourage them to bloom into the early autumn.
Deadhead plants such as Dahlia, rose and Penstemon to prolong the display colour well into early autumn.
Hardy geraniums can be cut back a little to remove tired leaves and encourage a new flush of growth.

Alpines that have developed bare patches of die-back, or have become weedy, can be tidied up by in-filling the patches with gritty compost.
This will encourage new growth as well as improving their appearance.

Buy or order spring-flowering bulbs. Some bulbs can be planted now, such as Colchicum, daffodils and Madonna Lilies (L. candidum).

Water houseplants freely when they are in growth.
Ventilate conservatories to their maximum to prevent soaring temperatures. Use shading if necessary.
Damp down greenhouses on hot days.
Feed plants when necessary, usually once every one to two weeks with a liquid feed.
Hyacinths bulbs can be planted in bowls now to achieve flowers for Christmas. Once they have put on 2.5cm (1in) growth, they can be taken into a cool room, only to be brought into a warm room in time to flower for the festive period.
Bulbs sold as 'prepared' can be forced by plunging the planted bowls in a cold, dark place for a few months, then bringing them straight inside to flower.

Continue to deadhead shrubs, such as roses, to extend flowering into early autumn.
Prune Wisteria and shrubs such as Pyracantha after flowering.
Hebes and lavenders can be given a light prune after flowering.

Black spot on roses is very common at this time of year, and spraying will no longer be effective.
Clear fallen leaves and burn them to prevent spread. A winter wash can be applied later in the year.
Rambling roses can be pruned now, once they have finished flowering.

Raise the blades on the mower before cutting on fine lawns.
This will help reduce drought stress.
Browning of the lawn is very common at this time of year.
Don't water the grass unless absolutely necessary. It will green up when the autumn rains arrive.

Take advantage of the dry weather by painting fences, sheds and other wooden features with a preservative.
Water-based ones are kinder to the environment.
Check that any products used are within their use-by date, and still legal.
Many of the old oil-based products such as creosote are no longer approved for domestic use.
Clean up patios and hard surfaces to get rid of moss and algae.
Doing this job now will prevent them becoming slippery during the winter.
Replace broken glass panes in greenhouses and fix leaking shed roofs before the autumn rains.
Greenhouse guttering can also be checked to ensure it is not blocked with debris.

Top up water where necessary in ponds and water features.
Keep an eye on aquatic and marginal plants, removing faded flowers and yellow leaves, and cutting back where necessary.
Clearing out fallen leaves and debris regularly will help to keep down algal growth, as there will be fewer nutrients available from rotting organic matter.

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kathyneem
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
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Joined: 23 Jul 2006
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Location: Co. Kilkenny Ireland

PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2006 3:57 pm    Post subject: An organic future Reply with quote

Hi GPI

Very interesting, thank you. As I have just moved in I am not so lucky to have vegetables or fruit to pick but I have great plans. Maybe I am in the wrong forum thread to ask about preparation of soil for an organic future - am I?

I need to feel I am doing something before winter settles in, so any suggestions would be welcome. I hope to grow as many different types of vegetables and fruits as I can. I would like to concentrate on native and wild fruits and berries.

Kathy
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James Kilkelly
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Joined: 30 May 2006
Posts: 2142
Location: West of Ireland

PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2006 11:50 pm    Post subject: An organic future Reply with quote

Well kathyneem, my number one tip to start preparing for an organic future as far as your soil is concerned is to start composting today.
Also check the organic growing section of Irish gardeners over the coming weeks as I will be posting an in-depth how-to regarding preparing and growing organic fruit and veg.

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Lilith
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Joined: 20 Jul 2006
Posts: 51
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2006 1:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Find someone with a barn they'd like to clean out...sheep would be preferable, but horse will do. Pile it on wherever you want to plant. You'll have gold in the spring.
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