August is usually an enjoyable month for gardeners, as there should still be plenty of summer warmth, the days remain long (though getting shorter at an accelerating rate) and, joy of joys, the summer fruits are out with a vengeance.
If you have children or grandchildren there’s a chance they will be enjoying the garden too in the school holidays. But a few weeks from now they will be all kitted out in their new uniforms and heading back to class, while the weather will be starting to turn.
The approach of autumn means that you need to be mindful that there will be things you need to do to get your garden ready for the changing of the seasons. As anyone used to gardening in Lancashire will know, the chilly and wet weather will not be long delayed.
You may be picking plenty of fruit at this time of year, and harvesting some vegetables too. If so, this will naturally top your ‘to-do’ list. But, it is also a time to prepare for next year’s, with lots of sowing and planting to be done. Strawberry runners are everywhere, so make sure you get some of these planted, while now is the optimum time to plant autumn-flowering plants.
Indeed, you may also think about planting some spring-flowering blooms, like daffodils and crocuses.
At the same time, maintenance is also a big issue in August. Dead-heading can help prolong summer blooms through August and into September, while you should keep watering when its dry while securing stakes and ties on trees that need support. The latter is important because summer storms are increasingly common in later summer, often the remnants of hurricanes from across the Atlantic.
Finally, make sure your patio and driveway are weeded and in good order. Like anything vulnerable to freeze-thaw, the effects of frost could make themselves felt in a big way before too long.
By fixing things up and getting ready while the sun is still shining, you will be able to make the most of what remains of summer while preparing to make the very best of each of the seasons the next 12 months will bring.