Growing Calendar - August
August is a time to sit back and relax a little. You should give a little break to your garden. Just pull off all the decayed fruits or leaves to protect other plants from decaying. However, you will have to keep the garden clean of weeds.
- Maincrop potatoes can be lifted as required for immediate use and where they are to be stored, harvest in September or early October. The spread of potato blight can start to become a problem if conditions are hot and humid. Potato yields can also benefit by being given extra water.
- The tips of any climbing shoots of runner beans should be pinched out should they reach the top of the supports.
- Small, tender courgettes can be regularly picked by using a sharp knife and carefully cutting them off at the base.
- The side-shoots on tomatoes should be pinched out regularly and the leading shoots tied to the supports. A high potash tomato fertiliser feed should be applied weekly and don’t let the plants go short of water.
- The tips of cucumber side shoots should be pinched out just two leaves beyond any fruit that may be developing. If any old fruit is left on the plants this will affect further flowering so remember to pick cucumbers on a regular basis.
- Keep well-watered during dry spells and weeds under control by hoeing.
- Cut down canes of summer fruited raspberries that have finished cropping, tying in new canes to supports and removing any spare ones.
- The runners of new strawberry plants should be secured into pots of compost or soil allowing them to root. The foliage should be removed just above the crown of each plant remembering to clear away any debris.
- Main shoots and side shoots of gooseberries can be pruned back to five leaves encouraging fruiting shoots for next season to be produced.