This is the AUGUST installment of Horticulture Week's month-by-month guide to essential maintenance and management tasks for parks, gardens and grounds maintenance staff.

Update pesticide records
Update sowing records
Organise holiday cover as needed
Investigate snow clearing equipment for winter

Control weeds, pests and diseases
Spot treat perennial weeds
Water as needed
Top up mulches
Take advantage of dry spells to renovate and preserve timber fencing and furniture
Trees, shrubs and hedges
Trim hedges regularly
Continue deadheading roses
Prune rambling roses after flowering
Continue taking semi-ripe cuttings of shrubs
Layer rhododendrons and azaleas

Beds and borders
Deadhead faded flowers
Cut back spreading and collapsing perennials
Start dividing perennials towards the end of the month
Cut back hardy geraniums
Collect seed from perennials
Trim lavender
Set earwig traps in chrysanthemum and dahlia displays
Take cuttings of penstemons
Take cuttings of fuchsias and other tender perennials

Wall plants
Complete wisteria pruning
Layer clematis

Plant daffodils and narcissi towards the end of the month
Plant Lilium candidum
Pot Christmas flowering bulbs

Continue watering and feeding

Greenhouses and conservatories
Check heating systems and service if required
Damp down during hot weather
Continue ventilating but be ready to close them at nights
Remove shading towards the end of the month

Water features
Top up levels as necessary
Thin out overgrown plants
Inspect regularly for algae bloom and treat accordingly

*Jobs should only be undertaken when ground and weather conditions are suitable and will vary according to location and may vary significantly from year to year. And remember that while the year nicely divides into 12 months, activities often overlap.

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