August was originally named Sextilis as it was the six month in the roman calender.
But around 700 BCE when January and February were added it moved to being the eighth month and was renamed in 8BCE in honour of Augustus Caesar.
This is traditionally the holiday month where most people will take a break from work and head off for a bit of rest and relaxation or for some family fun usually somewhere warmer.
The months birthstone are the peridot or onyx .
Also the birth flowers are the poppy and gladiolus.
If you are planning a holiday and will be away for some time make sure you do some preparation in the garden before you go off.
Jobs like a bit of weeding and dead heading faded blooms will help keep the garden in trim and looking good while your away.
The old Saxon name for the month was Weod Monath, the weed month, as they won’t stop growing and given half a chance will take over the flower border or veg patch.
Make sure the lawn gets a trim to before you head off it will look good while your away and won’t be a chore to cut again when you get back from your well earned break.
The weather in August is usually similar to July with hot sultry days with occasional thundery downpours.
If you are near to the coast, sea breezes can take the edge off the heat and is fresher and a bit cooler.
We are well into the gardening year and there should be a good harvest of fruit and veg to savour. Salad crops should be plentiful with tomatoes, cucumber, lettuce, peppers and radish.
The all time summer favourite strawberries will now be ready to pick and enjoy with a dollop of cream or a sprinkling of black pepper to enhance the taste.
If you get a glut of some crops, picking and prepare them for freezing while still young and fresh rather than leaving them to become coarse and poorer tasting.
You will have a ready supply when you need them in the months ahead.
Once onion foliage starts to collapse you can fork them out a bit and start the drying process so they will ripen and be ready for storing over the winter.
If there is a wet period cover them over keeping them as dry as possible.
Wet onions don’t store well at all.
The flower garden should still be looking spectacular this month.
Keep dead heading faded blooms from plants in containers which will ensure they will continue flowering well into September.
Roses also benefit when old blooms are removed, again it will encourage further flush of flowers into the next month.
Keep a watch for black spot and any aphid damage and take action if needed again spray any chemical fungicide or aphid killers in the evening so as to avoid any beneficial insects such as bees coming into contact with what you are using.
As the month moves on it is time to start thinking about what you would like to plant in the Autumn.
It won’t be long before Daffodil and tulip bulbs become available in your local garden centre.
You may also wish to harvest seed from plants you have grown this year in your own garden to use next year or pass on to neighbours and friends.
There is much to enjoy in the garden this month sometimes just sitting with a cup of tea looking at the colourful borders or a nice tidy veg plot can uplift you on a tiring day.
JOBS FOR THE MONTH.
PRUNE RAMBLING ROSES AFTER FLOWERING AND GIVE THEM A FEED.
CONTINUE WATERING AND ADDING FEED TO CONTAINER PLANTS.
MOW THE LAWN REGULAR BUT REDUCE FREQUENCY IF WEATHER IS HOT AND DRY.
TAKE CUTTINGS FROM TENDER PERENNIALS SUCH AS PELARGONIUM AND FUCHSIAS.
DEAD HEAD SUMMER ANNUALS TO KEEP THEM FLOWERING FOR LONGER.
WEED AND TIDY BORDERS WHEN REQUIRED.
KEEP TOMATOES WATERED AND WELL FED AND REMOVE ANY YELLOWING LEAVES.
PLANT NEW STRAWBERRIES FOR NEXT SEASON MAKE SURE YOU KEEP THEM WELL WATERED .
START HARVESTING THE FIRST APPLES AND PEARS LATER THIS MONTH.
LIFT AND DRY ONIONS READY FOR STORING.
TRIM HEDGES TO KEEP THEM NEAT AND LOOKING GOOD.
MAKE SURE BIRDS AND WILDLIFE HAVE FRESH WATER AND PONDS ARE TOPPED UP.
WATER PLANTS REGULAR AND WHEN NEEDED.
The above are just some of the jobs to be getting on with during this month.
I am sure you will be able to find plenty more to keep you busy as the month moves forward towards the first hints of autumn.
Star plants this month:
Be on the look-out for Cosmos astrosanguineus which has velvety dark maroon flowers scented of
Chocolate. Even big kids will like this one.
Buddleja davidii is one for the butterflies.
For a shady spot Hydrangea paniculata Grandiflora large heads of white flowers aging with a pink flush.
Lobelia “Bees flame” a dark leaved perennial with scarlet flowers loved by bees.
Crocosmia “Lucifer” fiery scarlet red flowers on tall plants.
Sweet pea always colourful and plentiful for cut flowers bringing scent into the house.
These are a few to be on the look-out for.
There is much to enjoy in this summer gardening month so let’s get out there and enjoy.