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Topical Tips August 2019

New month, new prime minister, what could be better??!!

August is usually one of the hottest months of the year so it is important that you are out there in the garden enjoying it, whether it be having a BBQ, relaxing on your new furniture from Sunshine or just simply enjoying the fruits of your labour from earlier this year.

If you are going away this month there are some tips for keeping things looking good while you’re away…

Flowers & Shrubs

Top Tip: As ever, keep deadheading it really does make a difference; you’ll get more flowers that are bigger and go on for longer.

Top Tip: In addition to dead heading don’t forget to feed. Even if you followed our recommendation of using slow release fertiliser for your plants earlier in the season they may be running out of steam by now so it’s  time to start feeding once a week with Tomorite fertiliser which is brilliant for all flowering and fruiting plants (it’s to do with the high potash in the Tomorite you know!)

Top Tip:  If you are returning from your holidays and your garden is looking a bit bare or your trusty neighbour didn’t quite get all the watering done come down to Sunshine, we have a super selection of large bedding plants that will flower right until the first frosts. 

Top Tip: Cut back the old leaves of summer-flowering perennials to encourage new, more attractive foliage. Foliage perennials such as Heucheras respond rally well to this treatment.

Top Tip:  Keep the hedges tidy by giving them a trim this month, using an electric trimmer is by far the easiest way, put a plastic sheet under the hedges to catch the prunings for an easy clear up. Or just run the lawn mower over light prunings and your mower will suck them all up leaving no mess!

Top Tip: Don't cut off the flowerheads off grasses. These will provide winter interest.

Top Tip:  Prune climbing roses that do not repeat flower unless you want to keep the attractive rose hips.


Here’s a quick reminder as to how to look after the watering of your garden. If you are on hand to water remember it is much better to water thoroughly but less often as plants will then grow deep, strong roots rather than spreading out at the surface.

When watering, new plants should take priority, as they will need a lot of moisture to establish a good root system. You will get to know which plants need to be kept moist and which can tolerate a bit a dryness, ferns are an obvious candidate for good watering but do take a look at your plants just to check they actually do need watering so as not to waste time and water.

Watering also helps keep plants strong so that they are not under stress and are less likely to suffer from mildew or any other disease.

Group all your pots together before you go away to make it easier to water.

If you are away and you haven’t got nice neighbours or family to water for you think about installing a watering system, even if you have got nice neighbours still think about a watering system, the garden will look all the better for it.

We stock Gardena irrigation equipment; the basic piece of kit required for an automatic water system is a watering timer. These timers fit on an outside tap and run on a 9 volt battery. You can get them to water several times a week or day and also adjust the period of watering. The simplest method of automatic irrigation is just to add a timer to your tap and connect to a hose and a garden sprinkler, that way your whole garden will be watered automatically. 

If you want something a bit more sophisticated then click below to find out more about irrigation systems.


Fiona is really excited!

This month is the start of the bulb season , and Fiona is i/c bulbs!  We are getting over 350 varieties, starting this month, the full selection will be here by early September, do come and have a look and it’s worth choosing some of the more unusual varieties now as they tend to sell out early.


In general lawns have fared much better this year, keep watering and give it a weekly cut remembering to raise the cut if a we have an extended period of dry weather.

Grow Your Own

Top Tip:   Continue harvesting fruit and veg as they ripen, ready for the finest home grown feasts.

Top Tip:  Pinch out the top of tomato plants; aim to have 5 or 6 trusses per plant.

Top Tip:  Harvest potatoes as the leaves yellow and die back. Ps. We now have seed potatoes in, ready to plant for harvesting in 12 weeks.

Top Tip:  If you don’t want to increase your strawberry plant stock them trim them after they have finished fruiting and remove any runners.

Top Tip:  When runner beans reach the top of their frame pinch them out to keep them with their frameworks.

Top Tip:  Keep picking courgettes you don’t want a surfeit of marrows! (Much as you may like stuffed marrow!)

Top Tip:  If you have a glut of berries why not freeze them? Click below

Top Tip:   It’s worth summer pruning fruit trees now. Pruning will keep the fruit tree in check and ensure that it remains a manageable and also decrease the number of leaves drawing water, which reduces stress on the plant.

General Jobs around the garden
Top Tip:  Don’t forget to keep ponds and birdbaths topped up.

Top Tip:   Scoop out weed and algae from ponds