Gardening with Children

School Zone

Things to do in the garden in August

Date Posted: 01 August 2013

August is the month when harvesting should be in full swing and you can begin to store your surplus crops for the forthcoming months or why not share and swap crops with family, friends and neighbours, it is also a time for getting away on holiday but whatever you do there are still plenty of

jobs you can do now in August

General Jobs
  • Turn the compost in your compost bins to speed up decomposition.
  • Continue to tie in Sunflower plants as they grow rapidly and protect from Slugs and Snails with Slug Gone.
  • Install an irrigation system to make watering easier and more economical.
  • Deadhead flowers to encourage them to continue flowering and provide a continued valuable source of nectar for bees, butterflies, moths and other insects.
  • Continue weeding regularly as weeds compete with plants for water and nutrients.
  • Water your Compost Bins in dry weather.
  • Continue to collect rainwater in Water Butts.
  • Protect plants from slugs with environmentally friendly Slug Gone or add Copper Tape to Containers, Pots and Raised Beds.
  • Protect Brassicas, Lettuce and other susceptible crops from Insects, Birds and Rabbits with Enviromesh.
  • Treat crops with Garlic Wonder Rabitof Concentrate to deter larger pests such as Rabbits, Deer, Crows and Pigeons, it can also help crops to resist and recover from fungal diseases and aids the plants natural resistance to insects.
  • After harvesting crops tidy up and remove any leaf debris etc and recycle in the Compost Bin, if left it can harbour pests and diseases, then fork over incorporating Chicken Poo (a general slow release fertiliser) ready for your next crop.
Fruit
  • Once your crop of Strawberries has finished, clip off all the leaves and weed the bed (put waste in the Compost Bin) sprinkle with Chicken Poo (a general slow release fertiliser) and water well.
  • Cover soft fruits with Netting or Fruit Cages to prevent birds eating your crop.
  • Give Pot grown fruit trees a high potash liquid feed and keep watered in dry weather, pull off suckers that appear at the base of trees.
  • Support heavily laden fruit trees and bushes to prevent the branches breaking.
  • Spray fruit plants with EM Fruit Care a Microbial foliar spray to boost fruit yield and protect against pests and disease.
  • Prune apple and pear trees, cutting back this year’s growth to two buds, allowing light and air to the fruit.
  • Prune out the old fruiting canes of summer raspberries and tie in the new canes which will bear fruit next year, removing any weak spindly canes.
  • Prune currant bushes by removing a third of the old dark wood as close to the ground as possible as well as any dead, diseased or dying wood, allowing air into the bushes and encouraging new healthy stems.
  • Summer prune gooseberry bushes by cutting this season’s growth back to five buds.
  • Protect developing blackberries with netting now before they start to ripen and water well whilst the fruits are developing. 
Vegetables
  • Keep pumpkins well watered and limit plants to 2 or 3 fruits to enable them to rich a good size for Halloween. Apply Slug Gone around young fruits as slugs can chew the stems and place a layer straw beneath them.
  • Divide large clumps of chives into smaller clumps to rejuvenate them, and keep well watered.
  • Pinch out the tips of Runner Beans when they get to the top of their support, this will encourage more beans lower down.
  • Water vegetables regularly especially in dry weather, this aids healthy growth, and helps to avoid diseases, disorders and bolting.
  • Cut back herbs to encourage a new crop and taking cuttings of Rosemary, Sage and Mint.
  • Sow Spring Cabbage, Kale, Maincrop Turnips, Oriental Vegetables such as Chinese Cabbage, Pak Choi and Mizuna, Chicory, Fennel, and Autumn/Winter Salads.
  • Sow Winter Radish into drills for a winter crop.
  • Make a final sowings of Swiss Chard this month for Autumn/Winter cropping.
  • Plant second cropping potatoes by the end of this month to give you home grown new potatoes at Christmas, plant in growing bags or large pots so that they can be brought inside before the first frosts.
  • Bend over the outer leaves of cauliflowers to protect the curd from sunlight.
  • Continue to feed your Tomatoes, Cucumber and Peppers and tie in as they grow, remove any withered or yellow leaves to prevent disease and also lower leaves of tomatoes to expose them to light and air to speed up ripening, water tomatoes regularly to prevent blossom end rot and fruit splitting.
  • Remove side shoots on cordon varieties (these grow between the stem and the leaf axis) and pinch out the growing tip after the fourth truss of tomatoes.
  • Grow shop bought Watercress Stems in containers.
  • Transplant Cabbages, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cauliflower and Kale plants in rows in their final positions in firm, organically rich and limed soil and protect from pests (insects, birds, rabbits) with Enviromesh.
  • Plant out Leeks into 15cm holes made with a dibber and fill the hole with water, you do not need to fill the hole with soil.
  • Feed vegetables with EM Vegetable Care to increase vegetable quality, size, taste and yield and provide foliar protection against pests and diseases.
 In the Greenhouse / Polytunnel / On your Windowsill / In the Propagator
  • Continue to feed your Tomatoes, Cucumbers and Peppers and tie in as they grow, remove any withered or yellow leaves to prevent disease and also lower leaves of tomatoes to expose them to light and air to speed up ripening, water tomatoes regularly to prevent blossom end rot and fruit splitting.
  • Mist Pepper plants with a hand spray to encourage fruit to set.
  • Remove side shoots on cordon varieties (these grow between the stem and the leaf axis), pinch out the growing tip when your plants reach the top of the greenhouse or after the fourth truss of fruit.
  • Top up the compost around the bases of plants to provide extra room for hungry roots which will give the plants a boost
  • Sow Winter Lettuce into pots and transplant into modules when large enough.
  • Water plants in the greenhouse when cool (morning/evening) avoiding the middle of the day as water can scorch leaves.
  • Open greenhouse vents, windows and doors on warm days to allow the air to circulate and allow pollinating insects access, in hot weather ‘water’ the greenhouse floor to increase moisture levels, consider adding shading if the weather is hot.
  • Close vents, windows and doors at night to keep in the warmth.
 Harvest
  • Pick any remaining Cherries, Currants, Strawberries, Raspberries and Gooseberries.
  • Once the leaves of Garlic and Shallots turn yellow they can be lifted and dried in the sun or indoors if the weather is wet.
  • Harvest Sweetcorn as soon as the cobs are ready (when a milky liquid comes out of the kernel when pressed with your fingernail) and eat as soon as possible after picking to maintain its sweetness.
  • Pick Courgettes regularly when small to ensure a continuous crop, don’t forget the flowers, they are edible too, pick them early in the morning before they open.
  • Regularly pick Runner/French Beans before they become stringy and to encourage more to form.
  • Overwintered onions should be ready to use, once picked use within 2/3 weeks as unlike normal onions they wont keep.
  • Lift spring planted onions and shallots when the leaves flop over and turn yellow and allow them to dry out for storing.
  • Autumn planted garlic should be ready to use pull a few bulbs to use fresh as wet garlic.
  • Pick Aubergines when large and shiny.
  • Pick early cropping apples, pears and plums checking for wasps who also find them irresistible make life easy when collecting fallen fruit with an Apple Wizard.
  • Harvest early planted peppers by cutting off the fruit rather than pulling or twisting as the stems are brittle and can snap easily.
  • Continue to harvest Second Early potatoes and Maincrop varieties when the leaves go yellow and die back use a Potato Scoop to prevent damaging the potatoes.
  • Harvest Peas regularly as soon as they are ready and whilst they are super sweet.
  • Carrots can be harvested but replace protective netting.
  • Pick Summer Cabbage from sowings in late winter.
  • Continue to pick Beetroot, Turnips, Broad Beans.
  • Continue harvesting Spinach and Salad Leaves, Spring Onions, Radishes and Herbs, if you have a glut of herbs they can be dried or frozen for use later on, try freezing them chopped up into ice cubes.
 Wildlife
  • Put out food and water for new families of hedgehogs to give them a boost.
  • Put up a Ceramic Bird and Bee Nester, Pollinating Bee Log, Minibug Solitary Bee House or a Solitary Bee Hive to provide a home for Solitary Bees and attract them into your garden to pollinate your crops.
  • Look after our Butterflies, Moths and Bees by providing a Butterfly and Moth Feeder or a Butterfly/Bee Nectar Feeding Station they are having a tough time in this wet weather.
  • Check and clean pond filters regularly so that they don’t get blocked up with Algae. Remove any blanket weed or excess pond weed leaving it by the side overnight to allow any creatures to return to the water.
  • Treat ponds overgrown with algae and blanket weed with Pond Magic to return to crystal clear water then add Bokashi Mud Balls to inhibit future algae growth. Top up ponds in dry weather.
  • Continue to feed birds ideally with protein rich food such as live Mealworms, provide fresh water in your bird baths for the birds to drink and bathe in. Put peanuts into Birdfeeders as whole peanuts can choke young birds.
  • Regularly clean bird tables, feeders and bird baths with
  • Stick Window Webs onto your windows to make them more visible to young birds. 

 

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