Summer is the time when you ought to be enjoying your garden to the full – the weather is at its finest and the flowers will be at their most fragrant. However, a gardener’s work is never done – so here are five key jobs for August, courtesy of wooden garden furniture suppliers Nelson Potter, who have two bases in Suffolk.
Protect Against Pests
Rabbits like to feed during daylight hours as well as at night during the summer months. They eat newly planted seed vegetables and border plants, as well as damaging larger plants and shrubs by gnawing at the roots or stems. Their numbers tend to peak in late summer, just when your garden is likely to be full of flowers and vegetables.
The best way of protecting your plants is to put up wire mesh netting or fencing. If you try to trap the rabbits yourself, not only is this time-consuming but it won’t necessarily work in the long term – as one rabbit is removed, another is quite likely to come in and take its place. At Nelson Potter, we stock a variety of wire fencing for customers across East Anglia including rabbit wire with hexagonal holes. If you keep poultry, we also supply chicken wire to keep foxes and other predators at bay.
Plants in containers and any newly-planted plants will be particularly thirsty at this time of year. Use recycled or grey water if possible – such as from a water butt or which has already been used in a bath. This will help preserve precious supplies and cut the size of your water bill. If you are going on holiday, ask a neighbour to water the garden for you if you haven’t got an automatic watering system.
Watering should be done either early or late (or both if it’s a particularly hot or dry spell); this will ensure the plants get maximum benefit. Don’t forget to keep ponds and water features topped up too.
Deadheading and Pruning
While many plants may be in full bloom, this won’t last forever – and cutting back will ensure healthy growth next year. So, as soon as any flowers are past their prime, think about deadheading and pruning. This particularly applies to dahlias and other perennials, lavender and trailing plants like wisteria and roses.
Shrubs, particularly rhododendrons, should also not escape your secateurs.
If you have a vegetable patch, you should now be harvesting onions, shallots, garlic and sweetcorn; carrots and beetroot can also be uprooted (although you can leave them in the soil for extra growth). If you have planted any second early potatoes, these can be brought up too and will be perfect for a summer salad.
For those with green fingers who have tried their hand at growing fruit, soft varieties like strawberries and raspberries (above) should be ripe now. Apples and pears should also be picked from trees. It’s a good idea to check the condition of any windfalls first to see if those still on the tree are likely to be ripe enough.
And Don’t Forget to Put Your Feet Up!
August and the summer holidays are still the best time to relax and enjoy the garden. At Nelson Potter we stock a selection of benches, tables and other items of quality wooden garden furniture so you can put your feet up. We supply these to customers all over Suffolk, including Ipswich, Bury St Edmunds, Felixstowe and Woodbridge.
Quality Timber Products from Nelson Potter
As well as wooden garden furniture, we also supply a range of other quality timber products at our yards in Ipswich and Bromeswell. These include sheds, gates, fencing and trellises, as well as wood treatments to preserve the quality of the timber. You can find a full list of our stock by visiting our online shop.