Late Summer Tasks In Your Garden – This is usually a time of hot, dry weather, when there is a natural lull in the garden, and the efforts of spring and early summer sowing will have paid dividends. The chores of early fall can wait until the holidays are over and cooler weather begins to return. Most of this month’s work in the garden involves watering and routine maintenance like mowing and hoeing, and clipping hedges.
If you are tempted to leave any tender plants outside all winter, seeing if they will survive, then take some safety precautions. Snip off a few cuttings, and pot them up, tending them all winter just in case the patent gets killed.
Constant soaking wet soil is as likely to kill the parent as freezing temperatures. Tackle the latter by adding a thick mulch.
The plants at their best in the late summer are: begonia, canna, erigeron, agapanthus, hibiscus, lobelia, lavender, alcea, fuchsia, lilium, hydrangea and hebe.
The flower garden tasks
Deadhead plants regularly. Clip beech, holly, hornbeam and yew hedges, and most evergreen hedges, if not already done. Feed plants in containers and trim flowers stems of perennial plants like Dianthus (carnations). Feed and disbud dahlias as necessary; use a quick-acting general fertilizer or a high-potash feed, but do not boost with too much nitrogen.
Plant colchicums to flower in the fall season. Plant bulbs for fall display and don’t forget to start planting spring-flowering bulbs. Start sowing hardy annuals to overwinter (only in mild areas or if you provide winter protection). Transplant polyanthus seedlings into their flowering positions in beds and borders.
Take fuchsia and pelargonium cuttings and prune rambler roses. Mow the lawn except in very dry weather. Water the lawn in dry spells, but a few good soaks will be better than many sprinklings that do not penetrate deeply.
Fuchsias in the garden
The greenhouse tasks
Pot up pelargoniums and overwinter indoors. Reduce the height of each plant by at least half and it will soon send out new shoots. Pot up Scaevola, Gazania and osteospermum and overwinter on an indoor windowsill or in a frost-free greenhouse.
Plant bulbs for a spring display. Plant biennial bedding plants in containers for a spring display (raised from the seed sown last spring). Plant hyacinths for early flowering under glass.
Hyacinths under glass