August Gardening with Big Jims



The growing season is almost upon us! Cherry daffodils brighten up garden beds and cherry trees begin to bloom. We are heading for an exciting spring in the garden.


The Edible Garden

  • Seed potatoes can now be planted. They prefer a free draining soil with lots of organic matter. Make sure seed potatoes have a lot of good sprouts before planting
  • Carry on planting all your edibles; stone fruit and pip fruit, feijoas, citrus and strawberries.
  •  Plant: Asparagus crowns, beetroot, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflowers, onions, peas, radish, silver beet, spinach and early lettuce.



The Flower Garden

  • Seeds to sow: Alyssum, Begonia, Candy tuft, Carnation, Celosia, Cosmos, Cornflower, Dianthus, Delphinium, Forget-me-not, Larkspur, Linaria, Linum, Lobelia, Lupin, Marigold, Nemesia, Pansy, Petunia, Phlox, Poppies, Portulaca, Salvia, Snapdragon, Statice, Stock, Sweet peas, Sweet William, Violas and Zinnias.
  • Seedlings to plant: Alyssum, Carnations, Cineraria, Forget-me-not, Nemesia, Pansy, Polyanthus, Poppies, Primula, Viola.
  • Dahlia and Begonia tubers, and Gladioli bulbs, are all in store this month. Plant now for a riot of summer colour


Begonias are one of the easiest summer flowers to grow

  • They are bright and cheerful and come in a range of colours and types to suit every situation. They are easy to grow and will give months of summer colour



  • If you haven't completed your rose pruning it is not too late but try to have it done as soon as possible this month.
  • It is a good time to plant roses as it gives them time to settle and put on root and leaf growth before spring and summer flowering.
  • Roses are now as popular as ever and are unsurpassed for summer colour and fragrance. There is a rose to suit every situation - groundcover, patio pots, covering walls and trellis, adding colour to the border year after year.



  • Camellias that have finished flowering can be pruned back and fed with Tui Acid Plant Food
  • A protective Copper based spray can be applied to deciduous trees and roses to reduce risk of fungal diseases over spring and summer months.


Soil Preparation

  • Good soil preparation is the key this month, prior to spring planting.
  • Dig soil over well, breaking down any clods.
  • Add in lots of good organic compost.
  • A dressing of lime can also be added now, especially in vegetable gardens. This gives the lime time to react before adding other fertilisers in the spring.
  • Remember not to apply lime around plants which like 'acid' soil conditions - Camellias, Azaleas, Rhododendrons and Ericas.