All about August

Self seeding plants and cottage gardens

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

Ever wondered why a cottage garden always looks so neat, even overgrown, and flowers like mad? The vision of the cottage garden is a colorful riot, with the roller blinds shading the adorable cottage from the summer sun. Roses and daisies, Shepherd’s Purse and lavender, it’s an orgy of life. The secret is the plants themselves. The best cottage gardens are very much self managing, when they’re properly planted with the right plants.

Self seeding plants basics

Self seeding plants produce their own seeds, and a lot of them. They’re a real alternative to commercial seeds, because they can do a lot of work on location. Most self seeding plants available commercially are annuals, but the perennials are also available.

Ask an experienced gardener how to manage a rampaging garden with its own ideas, and the answer will be “Learn from it.” Cottage gardens have some very good ways of managing themselves, and they’re actually textbook examples of proper planting techniques and gardening principles.

The basic facts of cottage gardens are like a real horticultural seminar:

  1. Self seeding plants exploit all available space very efficiently.
  2. The plants grow well in groups, and keep out weeds.

Having a Fall Garden Can Be Fun

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

Vegetable gardening in the fall can be a fun activity for the whole family. I remember being a kid and my mom and dad always having a fall vegetable garden. They would actually start it in August, and we would take care of it for about 3 months until time to harvest. Some plants product faster than others, but most are ready in 3 months or so at least in our part of the country.

Where we live in Texas, the climate is such that a fall garden is actually sometimes more preferable to a regular spring or summer garden. There are various advantages to having fall gardens.

For one thing the temperatures are not has hot as they are in the summer. This allows the plants to grow without any damage from the dry heat of the summer. Second, many of the insects that plague a garden in the spring and summer are dead or dying so this allows for better plant growth also. Next, the autumn time of year in our area usually gets plenty of rainfall so the plants also benefit from this as well.

Why I Decided To Plan My Next Years Garden Last Fall

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

Every year spring comes and I get so excited to get outside and plant my garden. I can just taste those fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, and all the other wonderful produce that I will grow this summer.

I stop at all the seed displays and see if there is anything new that I want to try and grow this year and take pleasure in my anticipation to dig in the dirt.

I watch the weather and am careful not to plant to soon, I don’t want my plants caught in a late spring freeze of course. Then the time comes when I just can’t stand it any longer I head to the nursery to buy my plants. I of course get way too many of everything and then I patiently haul them outside every morning to get some sun and then bring them in each night until the big day arrives.

I get my garden area all rototilled and ready and invest in some plant food to help my little darlings along after I get them planted. I’ve got my stakes and string ready to make neat little rows of carrots and radishes. I’ve got my wire cages ready to place over my tomatoes plants and am just itching to get started.

Flowers Shrubs and Hedges in Early August

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

Many a gardener takes his holidays in August, but goes away with certain foreboding. Will there be a drought in his absence? To whom can he entrust his blue poppies and the lilies that are the apple of his eye?

Early chrysanthemums will now be coming into bloom and must be protected against wind and rain. Greaseproof bags should be used to cover blooms that are intended for a flower show.

Take cuttings of geraniums, Washington pelargoniums (the Regals), penstemons and calceolarias.

Check the ties and stake the heavy foliaged perennials in the border.

The wayward Madonna lily, with its preference for cottage gardens, should be planted in batches. Sit them on small cushions of sand. Just note that sun is essential to this lily.

Hardy annuals can be sown in the border to over-winter, and some of the finest larkspurs can be raised this way.

If the sweet pea bed was well prepared, it should not be necessary to feed the plants, but they must not be allowed to go dry. Sweet pea fans may care to spray with water at the end of a hot day, or ‘straw’ the paths between the rows, keeping the latter wet to increase humidity so that the foliage and stems remain soft and sappy.

Gardening Ideas For The Month Of August

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

Yes, we know the weather’s been rubbish but fingers crossed things are about to change. For all you keen gardeners, here’s a list of the top jobs to do in the garden this August.

Onions, hedges and roses

Lift onions and shallots by loosening them and resting them on top of the soil to ripen. Then hang up to dry before putting into storage.

Cut yew, hornbeam and beech hedges; use a ground sheet to collect the clippings.

Cut back the older stems of rambling roses, now they have finished flowering, and tie in any new, vigorous stems while they are still pliable.

Cuttings, seeds and compost

Make a note of any lacklustre areas of your borders so that you can plan where to plant flowers that will bloom in August for next year. Try sedum, hardy cyclamen and Aster novi-belgii (Michelmas daisy) for some late-summer colour.

Take cuttings from tender plants, such as fuchsias and pelargoniums. Place several in a three-inch pot filled with equal parts silver sand and compost, and overwinter them in a frost-free place.

Collect seeds from annual plants. Dry them and place in labelled envelopes for sowing next spring.

How to Grow the Best Fall Garden

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

Late August and early September is the time of year where vacations are ending and kids are heading back to school. Just because outdoor activities are dwindling down doesn’t mean you can’t continue tending to your garden and home landscaping. Fall is the garden’s most forgotten season. In most North American gardens, the fall is an underused season for gardening. By planting a fall garden, you take advantage of this beautiful season and can enjoy your garden a little longer. We spend so much time creating beauty from spring’s first flowers throughout the summer we often forget to reap the rewards during the fall. Whether you want to plant vegetation or shrubbery and flowers, there are some wonderful plants and vegetation that put on their best show between August and October.

The fall is a great time to grow some cool season vegetables. Typically, vegetables that grow best in cool weather are leafy greens, root crops and various members of the cabbage family. Beets, carrots, peas, turnips, radishes, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts may be planted in early August for fall harvesting. Some of them will even tolerate light frosts. These are wonderful vegetables to grow this time of year, and taste so much better than store bought produce. Plant a fall garden and enjoy homegrown veggies into the cooler months of the year.

The Coldframe – The Garden’s Secret Weapon

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

August… summer is half gone and it is time now to think about the perennials, pansies, English daisies and myosotis that you want to bloom in your garden next summer. Here is where the coldframe comes in. For seed sowing the soil must be as carefully prepared as for seed pans in the greenhouse. Dig thoroughly, use liberal amounts of humus and some sand and rake the top fine and smooth. Sow the seed in shallow rows, label, cover and water. Keep the frame covered until germination starts. Shade.

When the seedlings are large enough to handle, trans-plant into flats or soil in the frame. Pansies, English daisies and forget-me-nots should be carried over winter in the frame, so space at least three inches apart. Perennials can be carried over winter in the frame also, or set out in the garden in early fall. Plants wintered in the frame need a light covering of hay during the severe winter months. Dry organic cow manure well dug in is one of the safest fertilizers, but any good one used sparingly will do.

Sow Vegetables This Month

Have You Prepared the Herb Garden For the Long Winter Ahead?

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

Although you know winter is coming and it is hard to let go of summer, just a few simple steps will help prepare the herb garden for winter survival. This is the most difficult time of the year for me, once the herb garden has been prepared for the harsh winter ahead; I know I will not be walking out in the warm sunshine to harvest fresh herbs to cook with. However, you can bring some of the herbs indoors for the winter….and….enjoy them all winter long! I have written other articles on how to grow an indoor herb garden.

Winterizing the garden actually begins in August. By the end of August the herbs you have chosen to harvest and store should have already been picked at their peak and prepared for future use either by freezing, drying or storage in a medium such as vinegar, salt or sugar. After the herbs have been harvested for storage, you are free to continue to harvest the herbs fresh, but don’t harvest more than ¼ of any of the perennial plants after August. Harvesting, trimming or pruning the herbs will stimulate new growth which will not give the new growth time to mature to survive the cold. The annuals will die off during the winter and should be harvested; hopefully you will be enjoying them until the first hard frost destroys them. After August do not fertilize the herbs as fertilization will also promote new growth that will most likely not survive the winter.

Harvest Your Summer Vegetables in August While Planning For Fall and Winter Crops

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

August is the time to enjoy tasty homegrown vegetables and fruits, and take pleasure in the beauty of green plants, trees and flowering annuals. It’s also time to plan your fall and winter gardens.

Pick Your Summer Vegetables: Even with a modest garden, summer vegetables are in abundance and ripening continuously in August. You may have run out of recipes for all your zucchini and squash, but pick them regularly even if you don’t plan to use them immediately. This will stimulate new growth so that the plants continue to produce into fall.

Plant Your Fall and Winter Vegetables: Plant seeds or starter plants of fall and winter vegetables such as green onions, carrots, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, mustard, radishes and beets. The seeds and young plants will benefit from August’s warm soil. For seeds, the germination process greatly increases in warm soil, than in the cooler soil of fall and winter.

Plant Cool Season Annuals: You can also get a jump on your winter flower garden by planting seeds for cool season annuals. These annuals include calendula, delphiniums, pansies and snapdragon.

The Flower Garden in August

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

Our flower garden in August can be brimming with activities we can do at this time of year, as we can for most of the year. We have some flower gardening tips to give you and some experiments to try. Feel free to send us your own flower gardening tips for any time of the year.

If it is much too hot for you this August to work in your flower garden during the day, make the most of the early morning hours before it gets too warm. Watching the world wake up can be quite exhilirating. Course morning here comes a little later than other places. ;-) This works well in July too.

This month is important in the flower gardening year as its most important work can be taking cuttings. If you have a sunny window ledge within your home or you are lucky enough to have a heated greenhouse, consider taking cuttings of geraniums you planted out in the spring. Not only can you take up and overwinter the older plants from your flower garden, but you can have some newer, younger plants next spring that you start from the cuttings you take now.

eNews and updates!
Sign up to receive breaking news as well as receive other site updates!

Download Now!
Featured Video
January 2011
« Dec    
Get Adobe Flash playerPlugin by wordpress themes