Traditionally, August has the best of the summer weather. However, autumn and winter is only round the corner, so it’s time to start planning ahead.
The Potato Harvest
Your second and early main crops will be ready now. To prevent damage to the skins, cut the tops off and leave the tubers in the ground for a week or two. Then dig them up and rinse in water to remove any soil and leave to dry thoroughly before storing. Any damaged tubers should be used first as these generally rot. Also keep an eye out for potato blight.
Pinch out the growing tips on your tomatoes to divert the plants energy into the fruit. Also remove any side shoots and keep the plants well watered. Plants that have dried out will struggle taking up vital nutrients such as calcium which can cause blossom end rot.
Clear it up
When a crop has finished, clear the bed of all plant materials and compost it. If the plant has a disease such as potato blight, burn the foliage. If the bed is going to be empty for a while, sow some green manure to add nutrients and also to suppress the weeds.
What to sow and plant
Now is the time to start planning for winter and spring next year.
- Spring cabbage and hardy kale can be sown into modules and planted into the open ground when big enough. Make sure you protect them from pests such as pigeons and cabbage whites.
- Overwintering onions can be sown towards the end of the month for an early crop next year.
- You can also sow some hardy lettuce to grow in the greenhouse throughout the winter.
What you can eat now
Here’s a few things you can be eating now:
- French and runner beans
- Spring Onions
- Peppers and chillies