Jobs to do this August

Take cuttings of bedding geraniums, fuchsias and marguerites. Use a gritty compost and they’ll root really quickly. By autumn, they’ll be stocky young plants ready for over-wintering indoors and flowering next summer.

Don’t cut the lawn too close in hot, dry weather. Adjust the blades to cut at a height of 4cm (1.5in). Don’t water it unless absolutely necessary.

Keep winter flowering pansies in the coolest part of the garden until early autumn. If they get too warm, the plants grow very straggly and will need to be cut back.

Fancy some extra tasty strawberries next summer? Buy some young plants – Flamenco and  Florence are especially good – from your garden centre. Pot up them up now and you’ll get bumper crops from June onwards.

Pinch out the tops of greenhouse tomatoes to help the fruits ripen before the colder weather sets in. Take off the lower leaves if they start to turn yellow.

Once lilies have finished flowering, cut off the old blooms and start to feed the plants with Flower Power once a week. This will help build up the bulbs for next summer’s display which could be even bigger and better than this year’s!

Pot up small plants of thyme, sage and rosemary into 12.5cm (5in) pots of John Innes compost. Pop them on the patio and keep them well watered. By autumn, they’ll be the perfect size for placing on the kitchen windowsill where you can harvest them all winter.

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