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Tidy up tasks for August

Cut the lawn slightly closer than normal.

Even if you come back to a few brown patches don’t worry. Most lawns revive with a few good soakings. You can read more tips on our brand partner site about scarifying your lawn if your lawn doesn’t recover.

Mulch all the beds and borders.

For me mulch is an absolute necessity not just for water control but also for fertility. A mulch is a material which sits on the surface of the soil, keeping in the moisture but also as it gradually breaks down it replenishes the soil. Newspaper or flattened cardboard boxes work well but obviously do not look good! Straw or grass cuttings are a visual improvement and homemade compost is excellent. Bark mulches can look smart but also can be expensive and are not as successful in terms of soil improvement. Always give the soil a good soak then add your mulch –the thicker the better (10cm minimum) 

Hedges.

It’s a good idea to lightly trim all your evergreen hedges now as it allows all new growth to harden off prior to the advent of frosts, reducing the risk of damage. The QG500ERHT electric hedge trimmer from Q Garden offers you great value for money. Featuring a 500W motor, a 56cm / 22″ cutting blade & a 5 point adjustable rear handle, this is a great product for small to medium gardens or where the job is done more frequently.

Lavender.

August is the time to cut off the flower spikes but the timing will depend on whether you intend to keep the dried flower-heads. If you do, then cut them before they start to fade and set seed. This you will need to do carefully as the bees will still be finding them irresistible –in fact they may well be drunk on lavender nectar! The cut lengths look wonderful tied into sheaths or maybe you prefer to strip the lavender heads and make scented cushions etc with them. If you prefer you can leave the lavender spikes on the plants until later in the month giving yourself (and the bees) longer to enjoy them. To keep the lavender compact cut back into the leaves to shape the hedge but never cut into bare wood as it invariably goes into shock and dies off.

Lastly continue dead-heading and feeding, it is important to keep the flowers, fruit or veg coming throughout the late summer months. Some plants such as Delphiniums can be cut right down, fed well and they will often flower again before the autumn 

A special thanks to the Lady Gardener who has put some of these tips for August together.

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