Winter is not quite over yet but it is certainly time to start planning and planting for warmer weather. Keep reading for August garden tasks that you should tackle during the month ahead.

August garden tasks

  • It’s time to revive your lawn after its winter dormancy this means low cutting, firm raking, spiking, feeding and covering with lawn dressing to feed and level out. Be sure to use a high-nitrogen feed to encourage leaf blade growth.
  • Plant spring flowering seedings such as Alyssum, Primulas, Lobelia, Marigolds, Petunias and Snapdragons. Refresh containers with specimen plants by removing the top layer of old soil and replacing it with fresh potting soil and compost. Feed with a good slow-release fertiliser, water well and add a layer mulch.
  • Feed Hydrangeas with special Hydrangea food and mulch with acidic compost.
  • August is considered a windy month in most parts of South Africa. Stake newly planted trees and standard roses. It is also the best month to plant new roses, and your last chance to prune established rose bushes
  • Last pruning of deciduous fruit trees can still be done in August in cold parts of the country.
  • Divide and replant perennials such as Agapanthus, Hemerocallis and Dietes this month, transplanting them immediately into well-prepared beds. Mulch the clumps with compost and feed with an organic 3:1:5 fertiliser to give them a head start for summer.
  • Prune Fuschias now by cutting back by two-thirds, removing dead, weak stems, and giving a heavy feed of a high potassium fertiliser to boost spring flowering.
  • If you have not done so already, August is a good month to start a compost heap. This could be a simple store-bought plastic compost bin or you can section off an unused corner of the garden. A compost heap/bin provides somewhere to put all your organic waste to good use. Once it is allowed to break down and decompose, you will have your own supply of rich compost that your garden will thrive on. Make sure that you have a balanced mixture of vegetable waste, grass clippings, paper and woody matter from your pruning. As the temperature rises decomposition speeds up.
  • This is the time for tree planting if you are planning to do so – make sure that you have allocated enough space for your chosen tree and that you dig a deep enough hole a rule of thumb is to dig a hole approximately three times wider than the root mass of the tree but no deeper than it is growing in its current space.
  • Plant summer bulbs such as Gladiolus, Dahlias, Crocosmia and Eucomis.
See the full article in the August issue of Garden&Home magazine – on sale now!
Words: Pat Ingarfield
Feature image: Photo by Pixabay/Pexels


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