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Garden tasks for August

We can’t wait for spring, and August is the month to start preparing for our spring gardens by treating the lawn, fertilising plants and cleaning gutters.

• August is a windy month; secure climbers and stake newly planted trees. Check the ties of standard roses and all other standard plants that are supported by stakes.

• In very cold areas, delay winter rose-pruning until the middle or end of August.

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• Increase watering to once a week for most plants.

• Fertilise all plants. Flowering plants should get 5:1:5 or 3:1:5 and shrubs and trees, 2:3:2 (or their organic alternatives). Fuchsias like a nitrogen-rich fertiliser at the beginning of the season.

• Remove the spent flowers of primulas, petunias, pansies and violas to encourage them to keep on flowering.

• Give the lawn its spring treatment. Rake out all the dead gr ass and then cut the lawn, with the lawnmower on its lowest setting. Compacted ground can be spiked with a garden fork or a hollow tine fork. Apply lawn fertiliser and water in well.

• If the lawn has hollows , is uneven or there are dead patches, level it with lawn dressing. Fertilise and water well.

• Remove leaves from gutters and fix any broken gutters. Why not call in a plumber to set up a system that diverts rainwater from the gutters into a tank?

• Clean the garden furniture and treat any wooden garden furniture. Check with your paint shop for suitable products.

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