• Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

A keen gardener like myself just wants to make the most of the last summer days of August; and there are so many things to do that I won’t be packing my gardening tools in the shed for a little while yet.

Here is my list of gardening activities for the next few weeks.

Laying turf
Since we have had a fair bit or rain recently it should be easier to pull up any old lawn to replace it by a new one. And Autumn is one of the best seasons to start a new lawn with turf or seed: the weather is still warm enough for the grass to grow and it will also get plenty or rain which should help the lawn establish itself. In fact I have noticed that my local garden centers have stocked up on turf recently. It’s always best to lay the turf as soon as possible on a level, weed and stone free soil in order to achieve best results.

Harvesting and feeding
The tomatoes which I have grown outdoors will continue to ripen into September, and therefore it’s important to continue to water and feed them regularly.

It’s important to harvest beans regularly to make the most of the young tasty vegetable and also to encourage further growth and crops.

The harvest of potatoes harvest is continuing especially for the maincrop varieties. And I am keeping an eye on the sweetcorn which should soon be ready for harvest.

Must have a go at cuttings
Pelargonium are a good choice for cuttings. Simply fill 8 cm pots with compost and some perlite. Cut off some healthy stems below a set of pelargonium leaves. Remove all leaves except the top 2 pairs and insert 3 in each pot. Water and put them somewhere light. In a few weeks they should start to root and you will be able to pot them up.

Forcing Hyacinths
I enjoy having a go at forcing hyacinths each year as it brings colour and delightful perfume into the bleaker months of winter. Choose a healthy hyacinth bulb (prepared bulbs are best for forcing). Fill a terracotta pot of suitable size filled with bulb fibre or compost mix and push bulb into the pot to half their depth. Water and put the hyacinth somewhere dark and cool (that’s very important – I have had problems with hyacinths suffering from heat or drought). When the shoots are about 5 cm tall, bring them indoors to fill your home with colour and lovely perfume.

Winter may seem like far away but it’s nice to prepare for it with some unexpected blossoms from the hyacinths.

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