The Vegetable Patch in August

The Fruit Garden in August
Other Gardening Jobs in August

Growing courgette plantsKeep picking your veg
Now is the time to eat plenty of veg, and you’ll 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.

Water pots and containers daily
Keep 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.

Keep weeding
Weeding is a never ending task! If you keep on top of it, it doesn’t have to be a big job. Use a hoe to displace the weed seedlings as they poke through the ground. Don’t allow any weeds to flower and seed (no matter how pretty they are!). You’ll only have more trouble next year.

Pest watch
Be 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 become established.

Harvesting GarlicHarvest garlic and onions
Garlic, onions and shallots are ready for lifting when the leaves turn yellow and fall to the ground. Dry them in the sun before storing.

Tie up tomatoes
Cordon 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.

Tidy up any harvested crops
Once 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. Don’t be too hasty though, some crops like french beans will often give a second smaller harvest.

Shake your sweetcorn
Once the flowers have opened at the top of your sweetcorn, give the plant a gentle shake to release the pollen and aid pollination.

Harvest ALL your potatoes
When you start digging up your potatoes, make sure you find them all, even the tiny ones! You don’t want volunteer potatoes next year, and they might also harbour disease and potato blight spores.

Sow green manure
If 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 phacelia.

Remove butterfly eggs and caterpillars from your brassicas
Check your brassicas regularly for butterfly eggs and caterpillars and remove any that you find. Don’t leave them or they’ll quickly munch their way through your plants.



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