It’s so great to be writing about August gardening! I don’t really want to be wishing the year away but now that August is almost here it means that spring is just around the corner -yippee! If you are following me on Instagram you will have seen that Mother Nature gave us a spring teaser this week. It was just glorious out in the garden on Monday – it was cool but there was not a cloud in sky! On Tuesday we were brought back to winter though with a cold wind, grey skies and showers (here’s the contrast shot).
We have had a few frosty mornings during July but we have used our trusty frost protection cloth to cover susceptible plant the night before. Most of our plants seem to be coping pretty well with the cold; we generally try to select ones that can tolerate moderate frosts.
It is actually quite surprising the number of plants that are flowering at this time of year. I mentioned the hellebores last month and they are still flowering. There are also some really pretty yellow marguerite daisies, hebes, as well as the hardenbergia or happy wanderer as we call it.
Some of our natives are also flowering at the moment. We have a really beautiful grevillea that only grows to about 60cm tall and it is currently covered it bright orange flowers. The distinctive yellow of the wattle bush is also all around us at the moment.
Despite the cold we have tried to keep busy in the garden and we have managed to cross off most of the jobs that we had planned for July. I actually got one extra job done that I didn’t have on my July gardening list. That was treating the fungal growth on some of the fruit trees.
Hopefully we will have similar success with our August gardening jobs!
My August Gardening Jobs
- prune roses
- prune hydrangea
- weed vegetable and ornamental beds
- treat oxalis weed with glyphosate
- top up mulch where necessary
- provide frost protection when needed to susceptible plants
- repot container plants where necessary
- lightly dress new bulbs with potash
- fertilise lemon tree
- sow some vegetable seeds for spring planting (keep indoors)
This time of year the weeds are out in full force so we have been flat out trying to keep them at bay! I don’t mind the grassy type weeds that are fairly easy to pull up. You can even add them to the compost as long as they haven’t developed seeds yet.
The weed that I absolutely hate would have to be the oxalis weed! I devoted a whole post to getting rid of the oxalis weed last year but I am still working on it. It is not a weed that you can just pull out because it has lots of tiny bulbs that remain in the soil.
I don’t like using chemical sprays any more than I have to but the best way to combat oxalis is to treat it with glyphosate when it is flowering. So that is what I have been doing these last few weeks. Blanketing the beds with newspaper and mulch has helped quite a bit but this horrible weed still pops up at the base of our plants.
I am trying out a touch on product this year, on the hard to spray areas, and I will hopefully be able to let you how it worked in a few weeks.
Our vegie garden is still ticking along nicely. The onions and garlic that were planted out in April are getting quite big. In a few weeks’ time we might be able to start harvesting some of the onions which will be great. It is quite a while since we have grown our own onions.
We also planted parsnips and silver beet at the same time as the onions and they have been very slow growing until now. The parsnips in particular are really starting to take off now so we might be pulling some up soon hopefully.
Another vegie that has been slow to get going is our potatoes. We planted some Pontiac and Dutch Cream potatoes last month and while most of them have sent up shoots they are still quite small so far. I am sure that as the weather warms up over the next few weeks that they will really take off.
I am also very pleased that I have managed to keep last years’ capsicums alive. I originally just wanted the capsicums already on the plants to mature so I put up a temporary plastic hot house. The plastic appears to have protected the plants from the cold and they are still going okay so far. The small number of frosts so far this winter s has probably helped too. It would be good if we could keep them alive until spring so that they might start producing fruit again!
Earlier I mentioned the names of a few flowers that are blooming in our garden during winter and another one is the Daphne plant. As long as I can remember my family have always grown a Daphne in the garden. My mother just loves the Daphne plant and both of my grandmothers seemed to grow it in their gardens.
The one that we have (and have always grown) in our garden is an evergreen Daphne that is a lovely compact shrub with a mass of bright green leaves. It is very hardy and copes really well with both summer heat (shade in the afternoon) and winter frosts.
The flowers are quite subtle; they are a pale pink and only small. When it flowers however the thing that strikes you about the Daphne is its sweet perfume. I am not known for my sensitive nose but even I can smell the lovely perfume of the Daphne as I walk around our front garden.
Like the hellebore plant that I mentioned in my July Gardening post the Daphne plant is an excellent plant when you want some winter colour and perfume in your garden.
It is great to know that spring is just around the corner. I am particularly looking forward to spring and summer in the vegie patch because we are still enjoying the fruits of our labours from last spring/summer. The pumpkins that we planted last year and harvest in May this year have been wonderful and we still have a couple left to use. We are definitely going to plant more this year!
If you need more ideas on what to do in the garden during August check out these links:
August Gardening in Australia:
For my northern hemisphere visitors.
August Gardening in the Northern Hemisphere: