There’s plenty to do during August in the garden in preparation for Spring.
The Veggie Garden
- Time to get ready for the spring planting season – weed and dig over the veggie patch, taking care not to compact the soil.
- Get a trailer-load of organic compost (Living Earth is a good one) dug through the area, or, if the growing area is small, add an organic veggie mix.
- Seed Potatoes are available now for sprouting – place on a tray in a dry area for a couple of weeks until the ‘eyes’ are at least 2cm long. Early varieties around now include Swift and Rocket Cliffs Kidney
- Onions – spring, red or the popular Pukekohe ‘Long Keeper’ can be planted now, provided the soil is draining well.
- Elephant Garlic is still around in stores and soils are nice and cold for planting now – Elephant Garlic is amazing when roasted, mellow and delicious.
- Indoors or in the glasshouse, seeds of favourite tomato varieties can be germinated, to grow on in shelter, ready to plant out in October.
- Seeds of coriander, carrots and hardy lettuce can be sown directly into the garden.
- Citrus trees may need to be covered against late winter frosts in sheltered areas.
- New season’s fruit trees particularly pip and stone fruit can be planted out now.
The Rest of the Garden
- Dahlia Tubers – the ‘retro chic’ garden darling are in garden centres now and ready for planting
- The value of winter flowerers such as this Euphorbia wulfenii (below) should not be underestimated lighting dull parts of the garden
- ‘Wet feet‘ is a major symptom with the rainy season that we are experiencing – quite a number of evergreen shrubs succumb to poorly draining soils, so choose plants to cope – moisture lovers include dichroa (evergreen hydrangea), ferns, ligualarias, taros and hostas
- Snail Bait should be used now around emerging seedlings and new growth
- Scented treasures that provide winter cheer in the garden include daphnes, boronias, small-leaved camellias such as transnokoensis plus the soon to flower Viburnum burkwoodii.
- August can be a tricky time of the year for your lawn. This is because we don’t really know exactly what weather we are going to get.
- Fertilise to keep your lawn thick and healthy.
- You may find the growth rate of grass increase so it is important to keep on top of your mowing.
- If we have a mild August you may consider a broadleaf weed spray to take out any undesirable species that may have come into your lawn during winter.