There is still planting/sowing to do – You can still plant new crops at this time of year. Spring bulbs such as Japanese Onions can be sown directly into the soil now and can be left until spring when they can be harvested. For a spring harvest, cabbages and broccoli can be planted now and cauliflower that were sown earlier in the year can now be transplanted and should provide you with a harvest in January. Other seeds to sow now include radishes, spinach, carrots, spring onions salad leaves and turnips.
Harvesting the last of your summer fruiting veg – Such as broad beans and peas and you should still be pulling tomatoes, chillies and peppers off their vines for a couple of weeks yet.
Remember to feed your pumpkins – Ready for harvesting at Halloween, feeding every couple of weeks should ensure some monsters for the children.
Winter squashes can be planted now – Winter varieties are tougher and beefier with a sweeter taste. If your soil is poor you can create a squash bed by choosing a spot, covering it with cardboard and a layer of manure or good compost. Plant the seedlings into this and water in well. The cardboard will rot away but it will retain moisture and nutrients in the meantime and provide the perfect growing conditions for your squashes.
Keep a check on disease and pests – Check the underside leaves of your brassicas for eggs for the Cabbage White butterfly and blight on tomatoes and potatoes. Remove the butterfly eggs from brassicas and the affected leaves from blight-infected plants to prevent it spreading.
Harvest your herbs – If you have a herb garden, keep harvesting them to encourage new growth; you can always dry or freeze these for use at a later date.
Put straw beneath your strawberries, squashes and pumpkins – This helps to protect the plants and fruit from pests and disease such as slugs and rot and it also keeps them clean. You can then throw the straw into your composter once the plants have stopped producing fruit.
Prepare your beds for winter – Consider planting some green manure to help to improve the soil in your growing beds for the next season. This will provide good cover, preventing weeds from taking hold during the winter and can then be turned into the soil in early spring, to rot down and release nutrients, providing great conditions for the next season. Some varieties to choose from include alfalfa, grazing rye and crimson clover.
Vegetable seeds to sow in August…
Radish (harvest in 30-50 days)
Rocket (harvest in 25 days)
Spinach (harvest in 40-50 days)
Cabbage (harvest in 80-180 days)