Professional gardener - Bank holiday boost

Weather While there have been high temperatures in some parts of the country, many places have had cold nights, serving to remind us that autumn is not far away and now is a good time to prepare for it. But first make sure all plans are in place for the bank holiday (31 August). The last holiday before Christmas, it should be seized as an opportunity to increase visitor numbers.

Beds & borders Deadhead faded flowers, provide extra support to herbaceous plants as needed, cut back spreading and collapsing perennials and start dividing them towards the end of the month. Record performance details for annuals and new plants. Continue deadheading roses and prune rambling roses after flowering. Order plants from nurseries, especially roses, and look at seed catalogues.

Bulbs Plant Lilium candidum, daffodils and narcissi. Pot flowering bulbs ready for Christmas displays.

Weeds Having taken advantage of the showers this month, new flushes of weeds continue to germinate. Control as appropriate and carry a hoe when walking the garden.

Hedges Trim regularly.

Lawns Continue to mow at 6-8mm for ornamental, 12mm for general and 25mm for amenity areas. Change the position of benches and other furniture to avoid wear and note how visitor routes have affected grass cover and the development of muddy patches. Plan autumn renovation work and order materials and seed.

Greenhouses & conservatories Remove shading. Do not get caught out by sudden drops in night-time temperatures. Organise the servicing of the boiler and heating equipment.

Timber works Take advantage of dry spells to renovate and preserve timber fencing and furniture.

Downpours Heavy rain is not unusual at the end of August. Check drainage pipes and ditches, clearing out debris so water cannot back up.

Gales High winds often strike in early September. Be prepared by checking chainsaws and organise emergency numbers for contractors to deal with urgent gale damage. Make sure that leaf collectors are functioning and prepare compost bins ahead of the autumn clear-up.

Kitchen garden Update records with notes as to yields, quality and resistance to pests and diseases so that information is to hand when ordering seed for next year.

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A monthly checklist of things to do and watch out for to keep your garden looking its best.