The final house martin broods are emerging from their mud nesting cups encouraged by the adult birds, together with swallows grouping into large flocks all preparing to take the long flight south for the winter.
Now is the time to start thinking about planting bulbs for next spring. Did you make a note of any areas which you thought needed some surplus bulbs or do you have a new area of plant up? Spring bulbs are a great early nectar source and their bright colours are often inspiring after the long winter months. Bulb species could comprise of wild garlic or ramsons (Allium ursinum), bluebell (Hyacinthoides non-scripta), snowdrop (Galanthus nivialis) or lily of the valley (Convallaria majalis). General bulb planting rules apply, putting the bulbs in at a depth of about twice their height and at least the same distance apart.
August is the time for holidays especially if you have children, taking advantage of their summer break from school. However don’t forget the garden while you’re away. Pots, hanging baskets and raised beds will need watering; maybe you could ask a helpful neighbour if they wouldn’t mind taking on the watering while you’re away.
August, if we’re lucky, can be a very dry month which is great for us but not so good for plants, so use mulch to rejuvenate your flower beds’ nutrient levels whilst also helping to retain the soil moisture. In addition, lawns can be very badly affected during August, reducing the mowing can help keep the lawn greener for longer, and always remember that however brown your lawn starts to become it will turn green again when the rain inevitably returns. Also keep an eye on that bird bath adding water if it becomes dry.
Check your compost bin from time to time as this can dry out too, taking much longer to decompose. If the contents look too dry, you can add water or ‘wet waste’ such as kitchen peelings or grass clippings. Take the opportunity to turn the compost as this helps aerate it and activate the bacteria which will eventually turn all the waste into lovely dark humus, perfect for use in your flower beds or next years pots.