Here is our round-up of August news, top tips, and ideas!

In August your garden should be at the height of its beauty – but with autumn round the corner there’s still plenty to do! We’ve rounded up a bunch of summer gardening tips and ideas for you and your garden.

To flex your green fingers there are still plenty of fast-growing crops to sow that will thrive in August!

 

GARDENING IN UNPREDICTABLE SUMMERS

Summer

Increasing changes in the climate have meant that our British summers are becoming more and more unpredictable. It can be hard to know how best to manage your garden and keep the wildlife happy when the weather can change on a whim. Here are some great tips to manage your garden through unpredictable summers!

• Keep up with weeding – weeds steal water and attract slugs and snails

• Use pebbles for your shrubs in tubs to keep their roots cool

• Don’t cut your grass too short, as it will burn in hotter weather – Longer grass keeps moisture in!

Mulch your new plants – mulching ensures moisture is retained and it stifles weeds

• Choose larger containers over smaller planters as they will need less frequent watering.

 

SCHOOL’S OUT FOR SUMMER

Need some ideas for a fun day out with your children? Look no further!

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THE LITTLE ACORN AND NATURE TRAIL

Our Midgley centre is an ideal destination for a family outing! You can visit our popular ‘Little Acorn’ coffee stop and have the option of two woodland walks.

The Little Acorn is housed in a converted vintage horse box, where we serve a variety of hot and cold food and drink daily, including Yummy Yorkshire ice cream! We have plenty of outdoor seating, and cover in case of a shower.

Have an adventure with your children on our two nature trails of differing lengths. There are historical facts about the area dotted throughout, so you can explore and learn at your own pace!

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FAIRY TRAIL

Discover the new nature-themed fairy trail at Earnshaws Fencing Centre, Midgley! It’s a FREE family activity for summer break. Let your children run, explore, and learn about local nature.

Each fairy represents a woodland species, with unique wings designed by artist Lanson Moore. Find hidden fairies, discover top tips, and uncover interesting facts along the way.

Don’t miss this opportunity to create memorable summer moments with your family!

If this has whetted your children’s appetite for adventure, why not check out this event?
 

GET INVOLVED IN A WILD DAY OUT

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The Yorkshire Wildlife Trust are running a Wild Day Out on August 12th!

Come and learn about birds, experience cooking on a campfire and get involved in some nature crafts in Hall Bower, Huddersfield.

This is a perfect opportunity for children to learn about the nature we need to protect!

For more details click here
 

AUGUST GARDEN CHECKLIST

Pruning

Keep your garden looking and performing its best with these important tasks:

• Prune summer-flowering shrubs – Many summer-flowering plants will finish blooming in August, so this month is an ideal time to prune them. Roses will especially benefit from pruning between now and early winter – reduce the plant’s size by about a third to prevent wind rock.

• Regularly turn compost – Over the coming months, more compostable material will become available in your garden. In order to encourage speedier decomposition, stir the contents of your compost bin about once a month.

• Cut back faded perennials – It is not too late to cut back hardy perennials, such as Cat Mint and Lady’s Mantle. They may re-flower, depending on the weather, but they will otherwise produce new foliage, which will keep your garden looking healthy.

• Sow hardy annuals – If you’ve been planning the flowers and colours you’d like to see in your garden next year, the end of August is the time to begin planting hardy annuals, such as pot marigold, opium poppy and quaking grass.

• Deadhead regularly – Continue to deadhead plants that are past their best to encourage them to produce flowers throughout autumn. Dahlias benefit greatly from this – you can even cut their stems to plant indoors for beautiful displays.

• Protect delicate plants from the sun – Even opening vents in a greenhouse can sometimes not be enough to protect plants from the sun when it’s at its hottest. Those with delicate leaves or abundant growth, such as leafy herbs, are often most at risk of damage. Put these plants in complete shade if the weather is due to be hot, but avoid starving them of light for too long.

• Look out for pests – At their peak during the summer months, Asparagus beetles lay tiny dark eggs on asparagus foliage. This larvae will feed on the asparagus, damaging current crops and impacting how well they will perform next year. If you find any of these pests or their larvae, remove them from the plant and throw them into a bucket of soapy water.

• Intercrop – Fast-growing crops, such as kohlrabi, are perfect for growing in the spaces between slower-growing veg, as they can be harvested before the slower ones need the space to grow.

Visit any of our centres to pick up essential gardening tools!

 

RELAX IN A GARDEN SUMMERHOUSE

“Summerhouse

Hopefully August will bring along some much-needed sunshine. You deserve the chance to sit back, relax and enjoy your Garden in full boom. So why not take your garden to the next level with the addition of one of our lovely garden summerhouses? Click here for more information.

Our Midgley and Brigg Centres have a range of garden summerhouses on display. Visit us and discover your perfect summerhouse.

For details of the vast range of sizes, variants and garden summerhouse options available, download our price list.

For further information regarding our quality garden summerhouses for sale, please contact our sales and advice team on
01924 830055.

 

THINGS TO SOW, GROW AND HARVEST IN AUGUST

Jam

Ready to sow outside

• Florence fennel – Sow the seeds 2.5cm deep and 30cm apart. To prevent this plant from bolting, keep the soil moist. Adding a thick layer of mulch will help the soil to maintain its moisture.

• Kohlrabi – Sow kohlrabi 1.5cm deep and 23cm apart. Avoid the crop becoming wood-like, by harvesting when the swollen stem is no larger than a tennis ball.

• Pak choi – These leafy greens should be sown 2cm deep and 30cm apart. Water regularly to ensure the soil stays moist, as this encourages plentiful leaf growth.

• Spinach – Sow 2cm deep and 15cm apart. Use fine-mesh netting to protect the leaves against damage from pests and birds.

Ready to harvest

• Cauliflower – Cauliflowers sown in spring should be ready to harvest. Cut the main head when it is around 6-8 inches in diameter, but keep the plant in the ground, as it will continue to produce smaller florets.

• Cucumbers – Check cucumber plants regularly, as the fruits can grow rapidly. It is best to harvest cucumbers when they are young, as older plants can become bitter.

• Runner beans – Harvest runner beans when they are young and tender, around 15-20cm long. Harvest every few days to keep them producing – if a pod reaches maturity, it will stop flowering completely.

• Broccoli – It is best to harvest broccoli in the morning when the florets are firm, just before they flower. If there are any yellow petals, harvest immediately as the quality of the plant will begin to decrease rapidly.

• Blackcurrants – Some varieties of blackcurrants will continue to produce fruit well into August, however early harvests can be frozen to enjoy later in the year.

• Blueberries – Once a berry changes from green to a dusky blue, it is ready to pick. The berries won’t all ripen at once, so it is best to check them regularly and harvest as required.

• Raspberries – Raspberries can continue ripening until the first frosts, but the fruits are ready to pick when they are rich in colour, plump and easy to pull off the plant.

 

BOOK OF THE MONTH

“Book

National Trust Book of Jam by Sara Lewis

The perfect gift book for any jam-maker. 70 mouth-watering recipes for jams, marmalades and other preserves.
Available on Amazon here.

 

QUOTE OF THE MONTH

Breathe the sweetness that hovers in August

– Denise Levertov