Green Fingers and Thumbs

Horticulturalist offering gardening classes, creative workshops, floristry and garden consultancy.

August Jobs in the Garden

Even though it is still summer, there is often a bit less to do in the garden as hot weather makes everything slow down a bit. If there is little rain the grass does not need mowing quite so much and weeds do not grow as fast. Plants you cut back in early summer have new leaves and flowers and need little attention. Most shrubs and climbers will have done most of their vigorous growing. But there are some nice jobs you can do each week in August...

  • Re-pot Strawberry Runners: Propagate new strawberry plants by removing ‘runners’ from the main plant and potting up. They can stay in these pots for planting out in next spring.

  • Sow Green Manures: If you have an allotment, vegetable bed or raised beds, green manures are a great way to protect the soil if you are not planning any over-wintering crops. They use up any leftover nitrogen from the growing season and cover the soil to prevent run off from the rain and leaching of other plant nutrients from the soil. In the spring you dig them directly back into the soil adding new nitrogen for the coming growing season. Green manures to try are...

  1. Rye (Secale cereale)

  1. Field Bean (Vicia faba) good for heavy soils

  1. Alfalfa (Medicago sativa) can be dug in after a few months or left for much longer

  1. Winter tares (Vicia sativa) hardy and over winters well

  • Cut Back Lavender: Doing this in August means you can remove the old flower stems, but also any new growth from this point will toughen up before the winter. You can use hand shears to secateurs and remove a fair amount of growth, but do not cut back into the old wood as there will not be any regrowth from this area. Regular trimming each year helps to keep plants healthy and compact and gives them a longer life span.

  • Start Seed Collecting: You can collect seed at any time that it is ripe, but later summer is often a dry time, so harvesting is easier, and you need to do less drying once they are picked.

  1. Seed pods are ripe often when they change colour. Normally going from green to a pale beige, brown or black

  1. Pick them before the split open and lose their seed

  1. If they are not fully dry on the plant, use a warm windowsill, airing cupboard or sideboard where they can be spread out to finish drying

  1. Keep on paper or a tray so that any seed that is released can be easily collected

  1. Seed will often be in a ‘casing’ or pod and when dry they can be removed or shaken from the casing into a paper bag or envelope

  1. Make sure you remember to write the seed details and date of collection on the outside and keep your packets in a box and somewhere dry until you are ready to use them next spring!

Online Garden Sessions available as a recording:

My online beginner gardener sessions are recorded and available for £5.99. If you would like to view any of the sessions below please contact me for the recording:

  • Low Maintenance. High Impact. (1 hour)

  • Gardening for Wildlife (1 hour)

  • Garden Jobs for Autumn (1 hour)

  • Winter Fruit Pruning (1 hour)

  • Winter Plants for the Festive Season (1 hour)

  • Winter Jobs in the Garden (1 hour)

  • Preparation for the Gardening Year (1 hour)

  • Soil... is KEY! (1 hour)

  • Sustainability in Gardening/Plan your own Outdoor Escape (1 hour)

Green Fingers and Thumbs Gardening Community...

Last autumn I offered Spring Flowering Bulb Packs, here are some great pictures of the final results from you Green Fingered Gardeners out there...


"It was like going to see an Apple Genius Bar and coming away not only with your problem solved, but so many other new ideas as well!"

Lucy and Ed, on having an online consultation for a community garden and allotment project.

I really enjoyed your session last night. I am a longtime gardener but find your talks quite inspirational, my garden has improved so much by putting your ideas into practise and I feel far more positive about changing things to suit my needs rather than just maintaining it. Really looking forward to soil!

Jenny, Shropshire, on online gardening classes

"I didn't want a gardener to do my gardening for me but guidance and recommendations as to how I could manage my garden, to answer my questions and develop my gardening experience. I couldn't tell a weed from a seed. I didn't know when to cut, feed or leave. I has been amazing to have found the expert guidance and support Natalie's personal garden consultation provides.

Beth, Ripon, on a face-to-face garden consultation.

"As an absolute beginner, I have found these online gardening sessions so informative and enjoyable. The interactive sessions are led by a professional gardener whose passion is infectious. You are made to feel comfortable to ask any questions at any level to answer your queries. I throughly enjoy the sessions and look forward to the next one!!"

Anne- Marie, Shropshire, on online gardening classes.

"Natalie has been a huge inspiration in my horticultural career, firstly as a mentor during my gardening traineeship and whilst I worked for my qualifications, and then as a colleague. Always enthusiastic and passionate about her field of expertise she is also greatly supportive of those who want to learn and develop their skills, and imparts her vast knowledge at just the right level for whoever she is working with.'

Clare, York, on training and online gardening classes

"I really enjoyed Natalie's online sessions, they were really informative, helpful and fun without being overwhelming. Lots of top tips."

Zoe, Edinburgh, on online gardening classes.

"Natalie's sessions are fun and informative, and there is always a chance to ask questions. She's also brilliant at getting back to you with more information if you need it. I'm a relative beginner but I think more experienced gardeners would love this too."

Chrissie, Portsmouth, on online gardening classes.

"Natalie has given me superb advice to help spruce up my family garden. Her knowledge of suitable plants, plant positioning and care have been invaluable. She is a fountain of knowledge whois extremely enthusiastic about her craft. I loved watching her develop design ideas and see it all come to life. She makes the whole experience inclusive and enjoyable from start to finish."

Caroline, Royal Tunbridge Wells, on face-to-face garden consultation.

"As a noviceI find Natalie's bite-size classes really helpful. The different topics mean that I can find out about particular areas of gardening without being overwhelmed. She is expert in what she does and has a great way of explaining things in a practical way, with just the right measure of technical. Her approach is so helpful, it has really helped me become more confident in gardening and enjoy it.

Helen, Melmerby, on online gardening classes and face-to-face garden consultation.