Grow Your Own

Jobs to do in August

Watch for dry weather

Top tips

Water well during dry spells. Irregular watering can lead to problems with blossom end rot in tomatoes, splitting of root vegetables

Pest and diseases – caterpillars

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Sowing and planting

Fruit

  • Plant out rooted strawberry runners.


Vegetables

  • In the south of England you can still sow quick maturing salad crops such as summer lettuce, radish, rocket, sorrel, chicory and fennel.

  • Continue to sow spring cabbage, turnips, Oriental vegetables and overwintering onions, in the south of England.

  • Sow green manures such as crimson clover and Italian ryegrass to act as a soil improver and to cover bare areas. When dug in, they conserve nutrients and improve soil texture.

Pruning and training

Fruit

  • Summer prune sideshoots on restricted trees (such as espaliers and fans) to three to four leaves to form fruiting spurs.

  • Summer prune restricted apples and pears.

  • If necessary, prune nectarines, apricots and peaches after they have fruited.

  • If necessary, prune plums, gages and damsons immediately after harvest.

  • Water cranberries, lingonberries and blueberries regularly with rainwater. Tap water will do if butts run dry.

  • Loosely tie together new blackberries and hybrid berry canes.

  • Remove straw and old leaves and tidy up strawberries after fruiting.

  • Prune out fruited summer raspberry canes and tie in new ones.

Problems

  • Check plants regularly for aphids and deal with them as soon as you see them.
     
  • Look out for tomato and potato blight and deal with it as soon as you spot it.
     
  • Watch tomatoes for blossom end rot, and other ripening problems.
     
  • Look out for fungal spots on bean and pea pods and leaves.
     
  • Remove any sweetcorn cobs affected by smut.
     
  • Carrot fly is still about.
     
  • Check stored onions for softness and the grey or black mould of neck rot.
     
  • Deal with brown rot on tree fruit.
     
  • Protect grapes from wasps.
     
  • Deal with powdery mildew on grapes and melons.

General care

Vegetables

  • Irregular watering can lead to problems with blossom end rot in tomatoes, splitting of root vegetables and flower abortion in runner beans. Help prevent this by watering well during dry spells.

  • Weeds can also compete with vegetables for water, and act as hosts for pests and diseases, so remove regularly by hoeing.

  • Marrows should be raised off the ground slightly, to prevent them discolouring from contact with the soil.

  • Continue earthing up celery, putting a layer of paper between the stems and the soil.

  • Take care when thinning out any late-sown carrot seedlings to prevent the scent released attracting carrot fly females.

Ready to harvest

Fruits
  • Plums & damsons

  • Early apples & pears

  • Perpetual strawberries

  • Blackberries & raspberries

  • Blueberries

  • Gooseberries

  • Currants

  • Figs

  • Early grapes

Vegetables
  • Onions, garlic & shallots

  • French & runner beans

  • Courgettes

  • Cucumbers  

  • Tomatoes

  • Potatoes

  • Sweetcorn

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