Grow your own - August

It is a busy time for harvesting in August and includes a whole variety of fruits and veggies. The list is endless but includes aubergines, cabbage, carrots, cucumbers, French beans, onions, peas, peppers, spring onions and tomatoes. There’s nothing more satisfying than picking your own crops to eat and share.

 

  • Keep on top of watering all crops.
  • Pick courgettes, French and runner beans daily – they will spoil and the next batch will not develop until they are picked.
  • Harvest raspberries, gooseberries, redcurrants, blackcurrants and any late strawberries.
  • Protect soft fruits from birds by draping fruit netting or an old net curtain over plants.
  • Don't allow fruit to over-ripen on plants as this can entice wasps and other pests.
  • Ensure that you water tomatoes regularly. Erratic watering can result in splitting and blossom end rot. Don't forget to feed them every week or so.  Stop your tomato plants - to encourage fruit to swell and ripen once four or five trusses have formed. Make sure that you keep an eye on side shoot development, you want as much energy as possible going into the fruit and not a mass of foliage.  If your tomato plant leaves are turning yellow between the veins, then they may be suffering from a magnesium deficiency. To help combat this, spray them with a solution of Epsom salts (magnesium sulphate).
  • Clean the ground as soon as crops are over.  Sprinkle organic fertiliser and fork it over so that you can re-use the space as soon as it is needed.
  • Thin out heavy crops of fruit on apples, pears and plums to prevent branches breaking.