August

If you are on holiday this month, it’s worth asking a friend or a neighbouring plot holder to keep an eye on your patch, as no doubt everything will come into season all at once. It’s important to keep picking.

Harvesting

Continue harvesting of all vegetable crops.  Particularly keep up with the picking of runner beans to maintain cropping well into the autumn.  Continue lifting potatoes. Prepare to lift onions towards the end of the month. Wait until the tops begin to fall over as this indicates that the bulb has stopped swelling. Dry them before stringing and putting into store. The bulbs should then keep until next March.  Start  to thin apples and pears down to one or two fruits per cluster. The apples and pears will soon begin to colour up. Plums and damsons will be in full flow so harvest regularly.

General

The end of this month signals the time to begin summer pruning any apples and pears which are grown as cordons, espaliers or fan.  Leave trees and bushes until the winter to prune.  Start with with pears and then move on to apples. The purpose of summer pruning is to encourage the development of fruit buds for next summer. August is definitely the last month to prune stone fruit trees  (plum, apricot, cherry and peach).  Complete the task as soon as possible. You want to aim for an open structurce of branches and remove any that cross over so they don”t damage each other.

Pest and Diseases

Blossom end rot can affect aubergines and tomatoes causing black sunken blotches on the skin of the fruit. Usually due to lack of calcium, the disease can be stemmed by amending your watering habits to ensure the calcicum found in the soil is fed through the water to the plant.  So water regularly and dont allow the soil to dry out. Discard any damaged fruit.

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