Things To Do In The Garden in August

And we’re feeling hot, hot, hot! (or damp, chilly or even lightly hailed on – this is August in the UK after all, so you can take your pick!). Anyway, it’s time to get down to some late summer gardening. A little effort at this season of the year will reap big rewards in the autumn, so pick a day that’s a comfortable temperature and get stuck in.

Water in the early morning or late evening for maximum results.


If you don’t have an irrigation system set up, then you may find yourself watering every day at this time of year. Plants in containers such as pots and hanging basket will need daily water. Plants planted directly into soil may only need watering every two or three days. Water early in the morning or last thing at night so that the liquid has a chance to soak into the soil before evaporating.

Water the ground around the plant rather than the leaves, and give sufficient liquid that the ground is saturated to a depth of around six inches. Don’t keep the ground too moist though, as this can stop the plants putting down deep roots. If you have a rainwater storage butt, this can come in very handy at this time of year! Birds and other wildlife will appreciate a water source at this time of year, so keep birdbaths clean and filled and put down a shallow tray for hedgehogs and other animals.

Cut lavender back once it’s finished flowering to keep it looking good.

Things to do in the garden in August: More dead heading

Oh yes, this is a constant summer task! Deadhead flowering annuals and perennials as soon as they’ve finished flowering to keep them flowering into the autumn. Lavender also needs chopping back as soon as it’s finished blooming, to give it a compact shape for next year.

Harvest and store seeds ready for next year.

Collect seeds

Seeds from plants such as sweet peas, lavender and poppies are easy to collect and store and you can grow your own seedlings next year. Once the seed heads are ripe, cut them off and store them somewhere dry for about a week. Empty the seeds into an envelope, removing any husk or pod, and put them in a cool, dark place until planting time next year. Remember to write the variety and date on the envelope, too!

Keep tomatoes productive with fertiliser, regular watering and some TLC.


If you grow your own veg then you should be in harvest mode now! Continue to feed tomato plants with a suitable feed and pinch out the tops of shoots to encourage fruiting. If you cut herbs such as mint and chives back now, you’ll get a second crop of new leaves in the autumn for cooking with. If you have too much to use, then excess herbs can be dried and stored for months, or frozen.

Harvest beans continuously – it’s better to pick them little and often rather than picking a bumper crop every week or so. Left to themselves beans can become stringy and quickly run to flower.

Harvest the first of the autumn fruit for jam.

Things to do in the garden in August: Pick and use fruit

August is the start of the main jam season! Plums, damsons, earlier varieties of apple and blackberries should all be ready towards the end of the month. Excess fruit can be preserved or frozen.


We’re now outside the bird nesting season, so it’s safe to give hedges a final trim before the autumn to keep them looking neat and tidy as we go into winter.

August is also the time for relaxing in the garden, so make sure you factor in some time to chill out!

Check out the rest of our month-by-month guide of things to do in the garden:

Things to do in the garden in February

Things to do in the garden in March

Things to do in the garden in April

Things to do in the garden in May

Things to do in the garden in June

Things to do in the garden in July

Things to do in the garden in September

Things to do in the garden in October

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