8. Things to do in August…

This year National Allotment Week runs mid-August, from 13-19 August 2018.  Participating sites will open their gates with tours and plant sales.  This year’s theme is ‘Living and Growing.’  See http://www.nsalg.org.uk for more information.

Kitchen Garden

  • ‘Stop’ cordon tomato plants when they have set the fourth or fifth truss of fruit.  Remove the tip of the main stem.
  • Protect carrot crops with insect mesh.
  • Complete summer pruning of trained apple and pear trees.  Remove completely upright vigorous growth.
  • Plant strawberry beds with well-rooted runners from healthy established plants.
  • Summer prune trained fruit trees such as espalier cherry, fans, cordon etc.
  • Prune fruited canes of summer-fruiting raspberries.
  • Tie in new canes on raspberries.

 

Sow Directly

  • Succession sow a ‘catch crop’ for autumn use – such as radish, lettuce, oriental vegetables, rocket and turnips – where earlier crops have been removed.
  • Transplant young summer-sown cabbage, broccoli and kale into the ground (from cold-frame).
  • Sow oriental greens such as mizuna and pak choi.  They are less prone to bolting at this time of the year and may be eaten as tender greens if the frost comes early.
  • Sow a crop of parsley to take you through to spring.
  • Finish sowing spring cabbages and spring onions for overwintering.
  • Plant daffodil bulbs late August.

Sow late summer & Autumn for early spring harvests, including:

  • broad beans
  • oriental salad leaves
  • hardy lettuce (may need cloche protection in cold spells)
  • chard
  • flat leafed parsley
  • spring cabbage

 

Grow under Glass / Cold Frame 

  • Sow basil in protected cold frame.

Harvest

  • Start harvesting runner beans, parsnip thinnings and cucumbers as they mature.
  • Harvest garlic, onions and shallots once the stems start to go yellow.  Let bulbs dry in the sun  – or in a shed or greenhouse – before storing.
  • Start lifting maincrop potatoes.

 

Flower / Ornamental Garden

  • Keep spring flowering shrubs such as camelia well-watered through August to ensure good flowering next year.
  • Cut & shake ripe seedheads of annuals over open patches for flowers next year – such as California poppy and calendula.
  • Collect seeds from perennials and hardy annuals as they ripen.  Store in paper envelopes in a cool dry place until next spring.
  • Trim lavender after flowering, leaving 1 inch (2.5 cm) of this year’s growth.
  • Lightly trim hebe low growing shrubs.
  • Look out for rose sawfly larvae.
  • Order spring-flowering bulbs.
  • Divide bearded iris in late August.
  • Prune roses.  Clear fallen leaves with black spot disease from around roses (dispose rather than composting).

 

Wild Things 

  • Allow some flowering and vegetable plants to go to seed to provide food for the birds.
  • Leave some rosehip on climbing roses for wildlife.
  • Leave an area for birds to dust-bathe – a dry sunny spot clear of plants with fine, stone free soil.
  • August is peak bat-watching season – especially at dusk.
  • Swallows begin to congregate before migrating back to southern Africa.
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