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In The Garden: August

Cymbidiums are in their peak flowering season,
so visit orchid nurseries and garden centres to find a colour and form that you like. Position in a spot where the blooms can been joyed daily. Once flowering is finished, cutdown the spikes and reposition to an area with filtered light. Feed as directed with an orchid specific fertiliser, like Strike Back pellets.

Get a jump on spring colour with brightly coloured annuals. Buy flowering pots of pansies, or plant fast-growing seedlings of alyssum. They're available in white and shades of pink or purple, and look fabulous planted enmassein garden beds or pots.

Germinate tomato seeds in a warm, brightly lit spot indoors, ready for planting out in early spring.

In preparation for a productive vegie patch, erect teepees, arches or trellises for climbers like cherry tomatoes, zucchinis, cucumbers, luffas, gourds and beans.

Refresh strappy ornamental grasses by shearing them close to ground level. Encourage a quick response to this tough love with a handful of compost and well-rotted cow manure.

In warm areas, early potatoes can start going into the ground now. In cooler spots, hold off a couple more weeks until frosts are finished. Add organic matter and compost to soil, dig a trench and plant potatoes 30cm apart and 10cm deep. As they grow, hill up the soil around them to exclude light. Keep watering and feeding throughout the growing season.