Works in the Garden in August

Requested by one of our readers was an article about maintenance works throughout the year.

I thought it would be nice to make a monthly series out of this.
This is part 8, in which I talk about the works in August. You can find the other parts here: 12, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.

Because the life of a gardener is tied to the weather and seasons, it is essential to mind the weather during each month described.

Japan is a long island, stretching from the North-East to the South-West and crosses several degrees of latitude. Plus it has a mountain range running from north to south, which will create different weathers in the west and east.
I will start each article with the average weather of that month focussing on Tokyo and Kyoto if possible.

The weather in August:
August marks the beginning of the typhoon season. Very hot and humid days take turns with rainy and cooler days. If a typhoon hits, it is better to stay inside because of the very strong winds and heavy rains. A lot of train lines stop and cars can’t drive anymore due to flooded streets.
The temperatures ranging from 31 °C (88°F)during the day to 24 °C (75°F) during the nights and we have six hours of average sunshine each day.
The average rainfall is 148 mm.

Works, which will be done in August:


Pruning of flowering shrubs
Several trees and shrubs flower in summer, for example, Hibiscus and Lagerstroemia indica. These plants can be cut directly after they ended flowering.
Other trees and shrubs shouldn’t be pruned now, because they already built new sprouts for flowering in the next year.


Pruning of hedges
Evergreen hedges might have gone out of shape during summer. It is ok to do a light pruning to get them back in shape.

Mulching
August is very hot, but it won’t rain enough. Mulching helps to keep moisture the plants can use.


Securing everything against typhoons
It is important to check all the trees before the typhoons arrive. Is there any dead wood? Are there ill branches, which could break? An airy pruning style reduces the chance that trees get damaged! Plants in pots also need to be secured, else they might fall over.


Lawn maintenance
Japanese lawn, Kouraishiba, will be mowed 2-3 times a month. Once a month it should get fertilizer and once a week it should get watered very well. It is possible to do lawn renewal until the middle of August.

While July was a peaceful month, in August things start to get busy again!

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