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In the garden: August

The winter show is packing it's bags and making way for spring. It's time to plant some potted colour, prune the perennials and clear out the compost


Photo - Robin Powell


Get a jump on spring colour with brightly coloured annuals. Buy flowering pots of pansies, or plant fast-growing seedlings of alyssum.


Plant out rhubarb crowns, allowing two crowns per rhubarb-lover. Rhubarb loves rich soil and plenty of moisture, so mulch with well-rotted cow manure and don’t let them dry out.


Prune spent perennials, such as salvia, sedum, Easter daisies and ornamental grasses once new growth appears at the base of the plant.


Clean out the compost bins and spread the black magic over garden beds to feed the soil.


Tall bearded iris like rose food as much as roses do: treat them to a serve now.


Enjoy fresh lemons with everything. Use some of the harvest for preserved lemons; juice some and freeze into ice blocks for summer salad dressings and cordials.


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


Shape sasanqua camellias after they have finished flowering.Choose your style - dense hedge, loosely rounded shrub, or airy, Japanese-style with exposed trunks, and trim to suit.


Sprinkle coffee grounds around tender plants susceptible to snail and slug attack.


Plant a new hedge. As a general rule plants should be placed at distances of 20-25 percent of the width of the free-standing plant. For example, if you’d like a low-growing hedge of the white-flowered Camellia ‘Silver Dollar’, which grows to around 2m wide, plants should be placed about 50cm apart.



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Author: Linda Ross