Dave Blackwell is Dave the Gardener on Actual Radio. Dave is with us Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday mornings at 10:30am with your gardening hints and tips.
In the August edition Dave talks about how before you relax in your garden there are still jobs to be done to keep it looking great. Plants want to flower, set seed and die, you can dead head plants to make them last much longer, sometimes well into the Autumn.
Feeding plants this time of year is very important, plants start to run out of steam when they are producing so many flowers. Feeding plants regularly sometimes once or twice a week is ideal. Hanging baskets will need feeding much more often, 2 or 3 times a week.
Containers are very popular, pots need a lot of watering and a lot of feeding. Dave explains there is one important thing to look out for, especially if you grow fuchsias or begonias, there is a horrible little pest called vine weevil. The vine weevil only comes out at night so the chances you’ll see it are very slim however the beetle goes around your pots laying eggs in the soft soil. Dave tells us how to deter this bug, you can buy a vine weevil killer and this is the right time of year to be treating your plants.
Don’t sit down yet, there is pruning jobs to do around the garden. Dave is often asked when the right time is to prune lavender. Dave explains August is the time of the year to prune lavender, chop off the dead flowers to leave a tidy bush. This is also the time of the year to prune fruit trees, especially apples, pears, plumbs or cherrys. Pruning in the winter encourages vigor, pruning in the summer encourages fruiting growth, which is what we’re after.
In the veg garden, the more you pick the more you get so keep picking vegetables, pick them while they’re small and dig potatoes up as and when you need them.
Once you’ve finished the your own garden, August is a great time of the year to go and visit some of the gardens around Essex, Dave has three fantastic gardens he recommends to go and pay a visit they are:
Hyde Hall, Chelmsford, Essex CM3 8ET
Beth Chatto Gardens, Elmstead Market, Clacton Road, Elmstead, Colchester, Essex CO7 7DB
Audley End, House and Gardens, Audley End Road, Saffron Walden CB11 4JF
You can hear Dave the Gardner on Actual Radio, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday mornings at 10:30am, or hear this months edition on YouTube or Mixcloud. Send your gardening questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or via the Contact page.