The garden in August

Herbaceous and pot plants

The activities to be performed are innumerable. Many herbaceous plants (geranium, nepeta, echinacea, lobularia ...) have finished their first flowering or have acquired an ungainly shape. We cut at the base and distribute a good slow release fertilizer: they will make new jets and we will see them again in bud in autumn.
The flowering of other essences has instead ended for this year: it is time to divide the tufts or rhizomes. In particular this is the best time to divide the peonies and the irises, eliminating the exhausted parts and keeping the younger ones.
The herbaceous and the tallest bulbs (dahlias, crocosmias, gladioli), need adequate supports.
We can still sow the biennials and eventually re-fill those that have sprung up since the sowing in July. It is also an excellent period for herbaceous taleare and shrubs.

Shrubs and trees

Let's clean up the plants that have finished flowering and adjust the formal hedges. Continuous flowering shrubs must be cleaned and shortened by at least 1/3 and, to support the new growth, they must be fertilized with a granular product rich in potassium. It is also the time to give order to the old roses by eliminating the withered flowers and the older branches.
In this period the semi-woody cuttings and the layering are particularly good. Take a branch of about 10 cm and remove most of the leaves. Then put it in a very light mixture, covering with a plastic bag. The rooting will take place by the autumn.
Shrubs that suffer the most from the heat benefit from thick mulching and frequent and light sprays during the hottest hours of the day.

The irrigations

There are essentially two approaches to garden management, both valid. Let's say that we live in a very hot area, with sandy soil and scarcity of water it would be good to insert only resistant plants. If our space approaches these characteristics we can easily let go of dormancy essences by watering every 15 days. Mediterranean shrubs and plants benefit from this treatment because it stimulates deep-rooted growth, giving greater autonomy over time.
If, on the other hand, we have a garden of more delicate essences, it is advisable to regulate plant by plant. In this case it is strongly recommended to use a drip system and to set up a thick mulch. If we do it manually, let us remember that the best time is early in the morning.

The garden in August: Pests and diseases

The heat has advantages and disadvantages. One of the advantages is that almost all cryptogames unlock their own spread. For this reason it is advisable to suspend, until the end of the month, the nebulization of sulfur and copper. In addition to being of little use (they are only estimates), combined with the heat could damage the leaf blade.
Instead, we must pay close attention to some pests, especially red spider mites. It spreads with high temperatures combined with drought. It particularly affects conifers and potted plants (especially on paved). It must be blocked immediately because in a few days it can cause severe deterioration. The ideal is to increase the humidity with frequent nebulizations, move in the shade and maybe on a lawn. We then use a specific product, possibly translaminar and active towards all stages of development.