It’s August, the weather is still cold and windy, but the end of winter is draws near, the days begin to grow noticeably longer and the change of season is not too far away.
This month is the last chance to complete the pruning of deciduous trees and shrubs, and for planting raspberries and brambleberries (such as blackberries and their hybrids).
It’s now time to sow the first summer vegetable seeds. Where there’s a danger of frost, sow seeds in trays and place them in a protected area such as a veranda, greenhouse, or indoors near a sunny window.
Towards the end of August, feed fruit trees with organic fertiliser, manure and compost. Also dig these into the soil when preparing new garden beds. The soil life will begin working on the organic plant food and will begin to slowly release its nutrients into the soil after a week or two, ready for the beginning of new spring growth in September. If fruit trees need a feed of potash, late autumn is also the time to do that too.
Things to Do This Month:
- Continue planting deciduous trees, shrubs, vines and cane fruits (and roses!). Wait till spring for planting citrus.
- Continue pruning deciduous fruit trees (not apricots, best to prune these in late autumn).
- Continue pruning deciduous shrubs (and roses too if you didn’t prune them in July).
- Prune dead seed-heads, stems and branches on herbaceous perennial plants.
- Relocate any deciduous plants (trees, shrubs, vines) or herbaceous perennial plants growing in the wrong place in winter. (Evergreens can only be moved in autumn and early spring, where they have time to regrow roots – remember, they retain leaves in winter which transpire and lose water!).
- Apply organic fertiliser to fruit trees, so that the slowly released nutrients will become available when the new growth commences in spring.
- Spray peaches and nectarines to protect against leaf curl fungus. Use lime sulphur or a copper fungicide at the bud swell stage (just before the buds begin to open) but before pink bud stage or colour shows. It is too late to spray once flowering occurs.
- Feed pot grown shrubs and plants and refresh their potting mix by scraping off the top 2.5cm and replace it with fresh potting mix which has been mixed with slow release fertiliser. Top dressing with compost is also beneficial.
Vegetables and Herbs to Sow:
|Sow in August||Harvest (weeks)|
|Strawberries (seed)||s||12 months|
d = sow directly into ground
s = sow in seed tray
ds = sow directly into ground or seed tray
*= frost tender
**= sow after frost
Download printable PDF version of Gardening Calendar (Australian Temperate Climate) – August