What to sow & do in an August kitchen garden
August brings us rich pickings, plenty of maintenance and some opportunities to prepare for the next growing season in the kitchen garden or on the allotment. Whether you’re growing your own food right now, you want to have some food security over the next few weeks and months, or you’re thinking about growing your own next year, read on.
It isn’t too late to get some kind of kitchen garden started in 2019, as long as you take action soon. There are several different seeds you can sow this month, and a few more jobs to get on with after that.
Seeds to sow in August
It’s high summer and most edible gardens are well established, but there are still some seeds you can sow now to provide food later this year and into the next. As always, check individual seed packets for sowing dates as certain varieties have different ideal planting times.
· Carrots (Autumn maincrop varieties)
· Japanese onions and hardy White Lisbon Spring onions (to overwinter)
· Kohl rabi
· Leaf beet (perpetual spinach, to overwinter)
· Lettuce (baby leaf and hardy types such as Winter Density)
· Oriental greens and mustard leaves
· Spring cabbage (to overwinter)
· Swiss chard (eat some as baby leaf in a few weeks, eat the rest next year)
· Winter radish
Apart from sowing seeds, there’s plenty to do this month while the garden’s growing in the warmer weather.
Planting out in August
· Sprouting broccoli seedlings
· Winter cauliflower seedlings
Care of vegetables in August
· Check tomatoes & potatoes for blight, remove yellowing leaves at the base of stems
· Pinch out (‘stop’) cordon tomato tips
· Remove one or two pumpkin leaves if they’re shading fruit (end of the month)
· Put straw or upturned saucers between ripening pumpkins and the soil
· Lift and dry onions and garlic
Care of fruit in August
· Cut back old canes of Summer-type (floricane) raspberries if fruiting is over
· Tie in new canes of Summer-type (floricane) raspberries
· Plant out new strawberry plants for next year
· Summer prune damsons, peaches, plums, nectarines etc if they’ve finished fruiting (check pruning requirements of individual varieties)
Jobs to keep on top of in August
· Check crops for pests and diseases
· Deadhead flowers of companion plants
· Earth up potatoes & Jerusalem artichokes
· Feed plants with liquid feed every 7 – 14 days
· Pick ripe fruit regularly
· Protect fruit from birds
· Slug and snail protection
· Tie in plants as they grow
· Turn compost
· Ventilate greenhouse or cloche
Are you growing your own fruit, vegetables and herbs this season? How’s your plot looking right now?