Jobs Ė August
is a month of plenty in the vegetable garden, and harvesting is the
order of the day. All the summer vegetables will be in full flow by
now, and youíre likely to have plenty of french beans, peas,
potatoes, cucumbers, tomatoes, courgette and runner beans. The
vegetable patch will look very green, with mature plants covering
most of the soil, and there will be lovely splashes of colour from
the runner bean and courgette flowers. If the weather is very dry,
donít forget to water your patch.
Vegetable Patch in August
picking your veg
is the time to eat plenty of veg, and youíll often find you have
quite a selection to choose from! Peas, french beans, runner beans,
carrots, beetroot, peas, mangetout, onions, potatoes, courgette,
tomatoes, cucumbers, swiss chard, spinach should all be ready now.
Pick your veg regularly to encourage the plants to produce even more.
This is a great month for enjoying lovely fresh vegetables.
pots and containers daily
pots well watered during this month. Temperatures are often quite
high, and many plants in pots will need watering twice a day. If you
are going away on holiday, move your pots to a shady area and ask a
neighbour to water them 2 or 3 times a week.
is a never ending task! If you keep on top of it, it doesnít have
to be a big job. Use a hoe to displace the weed seedlings as they
poke through the ground. Donít allow any weeds to flower and seed
(no matter how pretty they are!). Youíll only have more trouble
vigilant and keep a look out for pests. Stressed plants (from lack of
water and producing lots of veg) are more vulnerable to attack by
pests. If you see any, deal with them straight away before they can
garlic and onions
onions and shallots are ready for lifting when the leaves turn yellow
and fall to the ground. Dry them in the sun before storing.
tomatoes will still be heading for the sky. Tie their stems to
support stakes and nip out any sideshoots that appear. Nip out the
growing shoots once they reach the top of the support if they are in
the greenhouse, or once you have six trusses outside. Remove any
lower leaves to allow air to circulate.
up any harvested crops
a plant has finished cropping, dig it up and remove any plant debris
(such as fallen leaves). This will help to prevent a build up of
pests and diseases and will also expose any weeds. Donít be too
hasty though, some crops like french beans will often give a second
the flowers have opened at the top of your sweetcorn, give the plant
a gentle shake to release the pollen and aid pollination.
ALL your potatoes
you start digging up your potatoes, make sure you find them all, even
the tiny ones! You donít want volunteer potatoes next year, and
they might also harbour disease and potato blight spores.
you find yourself with some free space after harvesting, consider
growing a green manure. They improve the soil and suppress weeds. Try
mustard, alfalfa, buckwheat, clover, Hungarian grazing rye or
butterfly eggs and caterpillars from your brassicas
your brassicas regularly for butterfly eggs and caterpillars and
remove any that you find. Donít leave them or theyíll quickly
munch their way through your plants.
Fruit Garden in August
summer fruiting raspberry canes
your summer fruiting raspberries have finished cropping, cut the
canes that have fruited down to soil level.
in autumn fruiting raspberries
your autumn fruiting raspberry canes grow, tie them to any supports
and wires to stop them rocking about in the wind.
new strawberry plants
get the best strawberry crop, you need to replace your strawberry
plants every 3 to 4 years. Now is the time to plant new strawberry
plants ready for next year.
runners from your own strawberry plants
your strawberry plants are disease free then propagate your own
strawberries from the runners that your plants will be throwing
your strawberry bed
your strawberries have finished fruiting, remove any straw, old
leaves and runners that you donít want.
blueberries and cranberries
watering your blueberries and cranberries regularly with rainwater,
especially if they are grown in pots. They are thirsty plants.
just four fruit on your melon plants, and support the swelling melons
with old tights or netting.
stone fruit trees
after harvest, prune your plum, damson, apricot, nectarine and peach
trees. Also, prune your cherry trees if you have not already done so.
removing about a quarter of grapes per bunch. This allows the ones
that are left to grow larger and ripen better.
can be a problem around apples, plums and grapes. Hang wasp traps
nearby or on the branches.
Michael Gourlay Chairman