“Summer is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces up, snow is exhilarating; there is no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather.”
~ John Ruskin
The sun found its way in a couple weeks of July, but will it make such an appearance in August? While waiting for the sun to arrive, this month in the garden is a time for enjoying and planning. After all the effort put into the garden earlier in the year, now is when we gather cut flowers for the house and enjoy feasts of homegrown fruit, veg and herbs. During August we get to sit out and enjoy what we have created – it makes those blisters all worthwhile! If you are not a gardener who finds it easy to sit still, then this is a great time to start planning your autumn/winter bulbs, order onion sets, shallots and garlic for autumn planting and sow herb seeds in pots to harvest from the kitchen windowsill in autumn.
Sure, there are still some gardening jobs to be done and we can always find something to do but they involve no strenuous labour. Wandering around the garden deadheading faded blooms and cutting fresh ones to fill vases indoors can’t really be classed as chores. Plus, there’s all that eating to do with home-grown salad leaves, tomatoes, peas and more.
When it comes to tomatoes, beans, cucumbers and of course courgettes in August, it is often a time of glut. So, wash out those preserving pans and kilner jars and start to pickle! Preserving food was once essential if you were to survive the winter months when fresh food was scarce. That pressure no longer exists but many of us still prefer to make our own preserves rather than buying ones stuffed with artificial flavourings and colourings.
The phenomenal rise in the popularity of gin means that many of us will be making our own this month. By which I mean buying bottles of plain dry gin (at hopefully discounted prices!) and jazzing it up with the addition of garden produce. Cucumber gin is a great favourite and so very simple.
Make Your Own Cucumber Gin – August Newsletter
- Peel a couple of cucumbers, slice them in half horizontally and scoop out the seeds.
- Roughly chop the cucumber and pop it in a Kilner jar with the gin.
- After a week spent lurking in a cool dark cupboard your gin is ready for bottling.
Oh, and don’t through away the cucumber once you’ve strained it off – freeze it in a bag and plop a couple of chunks into your gin, in place of ice cubes. Delicious.
No heavy-duty jobs this month, just some gentle pottering and planning! Whilst podding your peas, making your jam or oven drying your tomatoes why not have a browse through our latest free catalogues?
- Order bedding plants to brighten your autumn/winter garden!
- order onion sets, shallots and garlic for autumn planting.
- Sow herb seeds in pots to harvest from the kitchen windowsill in autumn.
- Keep pinching out the side shoots on cordon tomatoes and harvest the fruits when ripe. This will encourage other fruits to mature and ripen.
- How about growing your own saffron? Now is the time by growing Saffron Crocus bulbs.
- Pruning your wisteria this month will not only tidy it up but will also divert energy from producing tendrils to producing flower buds for next year.
- Continue picking sweet peas and removing any seed heads. Also mulch, feed and water. They’ll be finished all too soon.
- Harvest beans, courgettes, potatoes, cucumbers, salad leaves, aubergines, etc, as soon as they are ready. Home-grown meals eaten outside with friends and family are one of the highlights of summer.
- Keep an eye on the level of water in your pond and top it up when necessary. This will also help to oxygenate the water.
- If the weather is very hot and dry, then the lawn is best left alone but if you really need to cut it then lift the mower’s blades to their highest setting. Leave the clippings on the ground to act as a mulch.
Our Autumn Catalgue is Here!
Choose from our range of winter & spring bedding, shrubs, perennials and spring-flowering bulbs together with veg and fruit just right for planting at this time of year. If you haven’t received yours in the first week of August, orders yours for FREE right here!
August Flowers to Sow
In August the warm ground is perfect for sowing feverfew, field cornflower, calendula, myosotis, Siberian wallflower, cyclamen hederifolium and potentilla. You can also start off some pot plant seeds indoors. Why not try a cactus, cyclamen, or coleus?
The Calendula Seeds – Bulls Eye are a very unique plant, producing beautiful pom- pom style flowers.
These magnificent flowers will not only add fantastic frilly shapes to your flower beds and flower borders but add profusions of bright sunshine yellow colours too.
These beautiful bright colours contrast well with the dark flower centres, where they get their namesake the Bull’s Eye.
Beautiful, full, double or semi-double flowers with attractive ruffled petals in brightly coloured shades on dark green, finely cut foliage.
A queen among poppies and as easy to grow as you can get.
RHS Award of Garden Merit winner. RHS Perfect For Pollinators. Height 20cm (8″). HA – Hardy annual.
A lovely blend of scarlet, rose, pink, burgundy, purple and blue together with white.
One of the easiest annuals to grow and a lovely choice for the back of a border.
A traditional ‘cottage garden’ favourite that also makes an ideal cut flower for the house. HA – Hardy annual. Height 90cm (3′).
New Flower Seed – August Newsletter
Sweet Pea ‘Earl Grey Blend‘ has been bred in New Zealand by specialist breeder Dr Keith Hammett. It boasts large-flowered Spencer-type blooms with two-tone flaked petals. These lovely petals are white with flakes of maroon/dark blue which give them an almost ‘grey’ look where the petals have colouring on both sides. Something you don’t find in every garden!
August Veg to Sow
In August you can get really speedy results when you sow lettuce and salad leaf seeds. It’s also the month to start off the vegetables you want to enjoy eating towards the end of the year, such as cabbage, chard, radish and turnip.
The first Summer sowing broad bean that will crop that autumn, allowing you to eat fresh broad beans out of season, it can also be Autumn sown for crops the following year.
Tolerance to soil-born diseases and a versatile variety, producing good crops of sweet, succulent beans.
An old Italian variety dating back to 1918. Grows to a grand size for a radish, yet does not go ‘woody’ like most radish do when they get larger. This means you can expect radish at least 5cm in diameter and each one will be crisp and juicy, with crimson skin and a sparkling white centre. Giant Butter has a nice, mild flavour, so is ideal to add to salads either sliced or grated. Perfect for those that don’t like spicy radish.” Make first sowings in March, in a warm, sheltered position, followed by others at regular intervals, to ensure a constant supply of firm, mildly flavoured roots during spring and summer. Sow March-September. Harvest late April-October.
New Veg Seed – August Newsletter
White Star is a great multi-purpose onion. Ideal to produce continental-sized salad onions and snow-white bulb onions, plus the thinned onions can be used as spring onions! 3 types of onions from one sowing, if left to create bulbs, will store for several months. Great for small spaces or busy gardeners. Sow March-Sept, Harvest April-October
Wondering What Needs Harvesting On the Vegetable Garden?
Our August Newsletter features a ton of veg to enjoy from plot to plate!
Offers This Month – August Newsletter
Social Posts of the Month #dobiesgardening
We like to share what everyone has been up to each month on the plot with the Dobies community. In this month’s August Newsletter, we saw Blauwschokker Peas ready for the plate, floral explosions of dahlias, some brilliant garden progression, colourful broad beans and a wealth of seeds to be sown!
Below are our top 5 social posts of the previous month and if you would like the chance to be featured in next month’s newsletter, all you need to do is tag us and use the hashtag #dobiesgardening.
Follow us on our social media pages and tag us in your posts and you could be featured on our next monthly newsletter!
School Holidays! Gardening with Children
As the summer holidays arrive, encouraging your children to garden is not always easy but is a great way to introduce them to nature and for them to interact and learn about the environment around them. During the summer holidays, it can also be a fun-free way of entertaining them too, and showing them just how vegetables are grown! In our August Newsletter, here are some top tips on how to encourage your children to garden and keep them busy on the plot!
A good place to start, when it comes to making them more interested in gardening, ask them what their favourite flowers and plants are. This could be something they have seen before, a colour they like or just a flower they like the sound of. Ask about their favourite fruit and vegetables too, although they might not be a favourite on the dinner plate, they might be able to see where their food comes from and the journey from plot to plate!
Easy Flowers & Veg to Grow with Children
How about encouraging your kids to engage with your garden wildlife this summer too? Here are just a few ways you can help the wildlife in your garden and home!
British Wildlife to Look Out for in the Garden
The warm weather in March invites feathery new arrivals to our gardens. Some even lay eggs! All kinds of wildlife are going to begin to stir this month, including robins, sparrows and blackbirds building their nests, and hedgehogs and frogs resurfacing after hibernation. The drone fly is another one found in many gardens, and here are some images to put a face to the name!
How to Help this Summer
You can offer a helping hand with the children this summer to these species with just a few simple steps. Why not tie up some tiny twigs, dried moss, and other strong veg of cuts around your feeders. To welcome frogs without having a pond, place a washing up bowl in the ground in a quiet and shady place in the garden. You could even place a stone by to help them get in and out! Make sure to keep your bird feeders topped up and think about bumblebees and slow worms too. You could gather up your lawn clipping, dry them out and then place them in a dry spot in the garden. This will encourage them both! Finally, for our beloved pollinators, fill your garden with nectar and pollen-rich flowers, we have loads of varieties to choose from!
National Allotments Week 2021: 9th – 15th August
The theme for National Allotments Week 2021 is Plotting for the Future; where allotmenteers alike will be celebrating the contribution that allotments make to a sustainable future. Allotments have many benefits and they unite families, friends and communities together. PLUS allotmenteers receive a frequent serving of low-cost, healthy fresh fruit and vegetables, physical exercise and social interaction. All great for our health and the environment!
This week runs from the 9th – 15th August and the three main categories up for a prize are as follows:
Most attractive communal building/area – video or slide show
Most family-friendly site – statistics/stories/photos of families gardening
Best Outreach project – Story/photos/reference from partner
National Allotments Week started in 2002 to raise awareness of allotments and the role they play in helping people live healthier lifestyles, grow their own food, develop friendships, and bolster communities.
Make Your Own Courgette Chutney from Home!
In our August Newsletter, it seems the right time to jump on the bandwagon of refreshing summer recipes! Did your courgettes go a little past their best this summer? Wonderful for the courgette glut that we all experience, is a tangy chutney will make you want to grow even more. Here’s a great recipe that you can try at home.
- 1kg courgettes cut into 1cm dice
- 4 large red onions cut into 1cm dice
- 4 garlic cloves crushed
- 75g root ginger, finely chopped
- 2 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp coriander seeds, roughly ground
- 500ml white wine vinegar
- 200g sultanas
- 350g white granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp sea salt
- 4 tbsp fresh coriander chopped
- Place the first 8 listed ingredients in a large preserving pan and slowly bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the vegetables begin to soften (about 10 minutes).
- Add the sugar and salt to the pan and continue to simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated. Stir from time to prevent sticking and to ensure the sugar has dissolved.
- To test for readiness, drag a spoon in a line through the mixture along the bottom of the pan. If it leaves a clean channel, then the chutney is ready. If the mixture simply flows back into the channel then it needs to simmer for longer.
- Once the mixture is ready, add the fresh coriander and stir. Then using a wide-necked funnel, carefully pour into sterilised Kilner jars and seal. Wipe the jars and label when cool.
- Leave to mature for a couple of months and then enjoy with cheese, cold meats or sausages.
There is still some of summer left and this month should be a busy one and there’s plenty to be done on the plot but also a well deserved chance to enjoy all your hard work so far. We hope our August Newsletter gives you plenty to get busy with and if you have enjoyed reading, please come back next month and check out our September Newsletter. If you have any growing antics on your social media pages, please share with us to feature on our next newsletter!
Check out our latest blog posts below and we hope you enjoy our August Newsletter!