This month in the cottage garden
August is the best month of the year for work shy gardeners. This is the month to sit back and enjoy the fruits or flowers of your labour.
However there’s still a bit of caretaking to be done if you want a good looking, healthy garden.
Remember to water hanging baskets and pots even on rainy days and water other ornamental plants during hot, dry spells – if there are any this summer.
Do a spot of garden tidying. Stroll around the garden, secateurs in hand and snip off spent flower heads. Also remove dead or damaged leaves to prevent disease and to keep the garden looking its best.
Pick sweet peas for the kitchen table. These cut flowers will fill your home with the most beautiful smell and most charming colours. Don’t worry about taking too many as the more you pick the more they flower. Perfect.
Harvest seeds from your favourite plants to sow on or give to friends. Wait until the heads have turned brown and papery. Then pop the seeds into an envelope, label them and bring them indoors to dry. Keep for sowing out later or send some as a surprise gift to green fingered friends.
Check for powdery mildew which often strikes at this time of year. It particularly affects plants near walls or fences. For a natural cure add 1 teaspoon of baking soda to one gallon of water and spray on plants regularly until the disease disappears.