The holidays are here! Late July and August is the time to make the most of longed for hot, summer days. Kick back, relax and enjoy your outside space as we reinvent the art of ‘staycation’. If you have the inclination to put down a great book and ease out of your garden chair, these are a few of the garden tasks that you could think about attempting over the coming weeks…
In your herb garden …
- Sow seeds – During the last week of July, it’s not too late to try your hand at germinating chervil, coriander, dill and parsley. These plants will keep you supplied through the autumn months, but you will need to be quick about it!
- Cutting back – If you haven’t harvested the flowering stems already, your lavender will need a good tidy now. If the delicate blue petals have not opened fully you may be in time to cut a few bunches for drying. Simply bunch about sixty stems together and hang in a dark and dry airy place away from direct sunlight.
- Taking softwood cuttings – August is the best time to take cuttings of scented geraniums, myrtle, rosemary and lavender.
In your cutting garden …
Dahlias – these are in full bloom and will need regular picking for the vase, dead heading as well as additional staking.
Sweet Williams – after cutting back in early June these may well have begun to flower once more. It is also time to sow seeds for next year’s plants.
Sweet Peas – unless you have had the time to regularly water, feed and keep on top of cutting the flowering stems, the plants may be beginning to fade. Don’t forget to check for any setting seeds and remove these everyday. Alternatively now is the time to let the plant take its natural course and save the dried seed pods for next years plants. These can be sown as early as November in a cold greenhouse in readiness for next years’ cutting patch.
On a rainy day in the potting shed, now is a great time to start pouring through the bulb catalogues and get your order in early for prepared hyacinths for a stunning display at Christmas and of course tulips for next spring.
Gather basil and head to the kitchen to make a flavoured oil and then as we draw close to the end of the season, begin to process the remaining stems for pesto and freeze in small tubs. Ideal for a quick and tasty supper.