Episode 36: Tatton Park Flower Show & Gardening Jobs for August
Interview with Malcolm Dickson from the 2016 RHS Tatton Park Flower Show, our plant of the month; Echinops ritro 'Veitch’s Blue' and jobs to do in the garden for August.
In this month’s edition of the podcast we talk to Malcolm Dickson from Hooksgreen Herbs at the 2016 RHS Tatton Park Flower show. We also look at seasonal gardening jobs to do in the garden during the month of August and our plant of the month for August.
The summer season can last into September but August is really the last of the summer months. If you have a vegetable garden, it’s a very busy time with many crops still to be harvested this month. But if you have time, relax and enjoy your garden this month. If August is as hot as it has the potential to be, and you are off on holiday, the logistics of watering precious plants whilst you are away will be of paramount importance too.
Many people say that their gardens lack late summer colour, but choose your plants carefully and your garden can be as colourful in August as it is in June or July.
Helenium continue to flower in the shade, Echinops add height to the August garden, Ceratostigma add some late summer colour to the garden and Acanthus have both interesting foliage and flowers.
At the 2016 RHS Tatton Park Flower show we talked to nurseryman Malcolm Dickson from Hooksgreen Herbs, who has become the first accredited RHS Master Grower in a new RHS scheme to recognise UK growers..
Plant of the Month
Our plant of the month for August is Echinops ritro 'Veitch’s Blue'.
- Also known as Globe Thistle
- Make good cut flowers and flowers more than once a season
- RHS Perfect for Pollinators award; especially loved by bees
- Fully Hardy (RHS H7) Hardy in the severest European continental climates (< -20C)
- Deciduous upright perennial that prefers full sun but tolerates partial shade
- Flowers: Flowers in August; globes of spikey blue flowers
- Soil: Prefers poor, well drained soil, but will tolerate most soils if it's in full sun
- Height up to 90cm, spread 45cm
- Growth Rate: Average, 2-5 years to maturity
- Pests and Diseases: Generally pest free although can be prone to aphids
- Maintenance: Cut back to the ground after flowering to encourage a second flush of flowers and/or deadhead to prevent self seeding
- Propagation: Propagate by division in spring or autumn, by root cuttings in winter or by sowing seed in mid spring
Jobs in the Garden
- Propagate Plants from Semi-ripe Cuttings
- Many plants can be propagated this month from semi-ripe cuttings. Examples include Penstemons and Fuchsias.
- Select non-flowering side-shoots, cut just below a leaf joint so that you are cutting off a shoot with four or five pairs of leaves.
- Strip the bottom two pairs of leaves and dip the cuttings in hormone rooting powder.
- Firm the cuttings into a pot of cutting compost, half a dozen per pot is fine and place in a cold frame.
- Many of the cuttings will have rooted by the spring.
- Holiday Watering
- If you are going away on holiday this August, don’t forget to have plans in place for watering your precious plants e.g. neighbours and automatic watering systems
- Prune Summer Flowering Shrubs
- Many shrubs that have recently finished flowering can be pruned this month. These include Philadelphus and Weigela.
- Cut out the shoots that have flowered and if the centre has become congested you can prune up to one-third of the oldest stems down to ground level.
- After pruning, give the shrub a bit of a boost by mulching around the base with some well-rotted garden compost or manure.
- Plant daffodil bulbs ready for their spring show
- Support branches of fruit trees that are heavily laden with fruit
- When raspberry canes have finished fruiting prune them to ground level
- Tie flowers that are flopping over on to stakes
- Regular lawn mowing (raise the height of cut in very dry weather)
- Trim border edges
- Regularly spray roses against greenfly and blackspot
- Damp down greenhouse paths regularly to create a humid atmosphere that pests such as red spider mite do not like
- Water and feed containers and hanging baskets regularly
In the Vegetable Garden
- Sow seeds outside of: Lettuce, Radish, Spinach and Onion
- Plant Out: Cabbages
- Harvest: Peas, French beans, Tomatoes, Onions, Radish, Carrots, Turnips, Beetroot, Spinach, Cauliflowers, Cabbages, Lettuce, Globe artichokes, Broad beans, Runner beans, Marrows, Courgettes, Cucumbers, Potatoes, Swiss Chard, Broccoli, Celery, Sweetcorn, Aubergines, Peppers and Pumpkins
Forthcoming Garden and Flower Shows
- 18 - 21 August: Southport Flower Show
Podcast produced by Richard Farrar.