What to do in the garden in August:
High summer is holiday time, when your garden is at its beautiful peak and you've got the leisure to enjoy it to the full. Keep things looking tip-top with our jobs to do this month.
- Neaten bed edges with a sharp edging iron followed up with the edging shears for a pleasingly tidy finish.
- Top up water baths for wild birds and clean them regularly with mild disinfectant to keep disease at bay
- Prune rambling roses as soon as they've stopped flowering, pruning sideshoots back to one or two buds and removing the oldest stems at the base.
- Trim lavender once flowers have faded, snipping foliage back into neat hummocks.
- Protect dahlias from earwigs with traps made out of flowerpots stuffed with straw and upended on canes.
- Leave some courgettes to become marrows so you can ripen them in the sun to store somewhere cool and dry – they'll keep for months.
- Collect coriander seed to use crushed into curries as a spicy flavouring, or to save in paper bags ready to sow next year.
- Sow lettuces in pots in the cold frame so you can just drop them in to gaps as they appear to keep the crops coming.