The days are getting shorter but there is still time to get seeds and plants in the ground and lots more things to do in the garden in August. This is the time of year to appreciate and reflect upon all your hard work and give yourself a well deserved pat on the back, no matter how successful your harvest has been.
Here is a list of things to do in the garden in August (hopefully you have lots of crops to harvest and enjoy!):
- Keep on top of your weeds (mulch, hoe, hand fork, strim, or sickle) before they have time to set seed.
- Feed your compost heap with all appropriate waste materials. Aim for an equal mix of nitrogen-rich green materials and carbon-rich brown materials. Turn every one or two weeks.
- Make sure you water your plants if they need it. Newly planted crops especially need to be well watered until they establish and all crops in pots will require more watering than those in the ground.
- Sow lettuce, rocket, parsley, chard, radish, spring onion, cabbage, turnip, spinach, chicory, kohlrabi, kale.
- Pinch-out the top of tomato plants to direct more of the plant’s energy to the fruits. Remove any leaves growing below the lowest ripening fruit trusses to improve air circulation and prevent diseases. Leave 5 or 6 trusses of fruit per plant. Feed with a tomato fertiliser.
- Add high-potash fertiliser to peppers, cucumbers and aubergines once fruits form.
- Feed sweetcorn plants with tomato food.
- Make liquid feeds to add nutrients to your plants and soil. You can use a variety of different materials to make feeds: compost, comfrey, seaweed, grass clippings, nettles.
- Cut back herbs to stimulate new leaves. Thin parsley to 25 cm between plants. Divide clumps of established chives.
- Take cuttings of herbs (e.g. thyme, oregano, rosemary, sage, mint) and grow in compost in a cold frame.
- Collect seeds for next year.
- Pinch out the tops of runner bean plants to encourage side shooting.
- Watch out for tomato and potato blight (remove and destroy any infected plants), cabbage white butterfly eggs under brassicas, slugs, snails, aphids, carrot fly, sawfly, apple scab.
- Tidy up ground around plants to prevent pests and diseases.
- Prune stone fruit trees, such as plums and cherries, if they need it.
- Feed citrus trees with summer citrus fertiliser.
- Pot on any rooted strawberry runners.
- Cut back the canes of your summer raspberries which have fruited, leaving the new green canes for next year’s crop.
- Feed soil with green manures.
- Harvest second early potatoes, main crop potatoes, sweetcorn, onions, garlic, french beans, runner beans, courgettes, lettuce, radish, sorrel, chard, mustard, horseradish, spinach, rocket, beetroot, carrots, broccoli, kale, cauliflower, leeks, cabbage, cucumber, tomatoes, peppers, cherries, plums, basil, dill, chives, parsley, chervil, oregano, tarragon, rosemary, thyme, sage.
Any other things to do in the garden in August? If anyone has any tips or suggestions, please comment below.