The Horti’s Gardening Calendar - August
Enjoy the garden and all the produce that is ripening. Late summer and the days are shortening. Plants will become less demanding in their need for water.
Tips for August
- Harvest crops as they become ready. First and second early tatties should be harvested and stored in a cool dark place. Main crop tatties can be left until September, unless they are being damaged by slugs or the like.
- Peas and beans should be harvested in their prime and if they are not eaten, stored, probably frozen for winter use. Peas particularly go over quickly, watch for the pods going a dull green.
- In the space left by the harvested crops plant green manures or further food crops. Spinach, Rocket, Mizuna and Mustard will all do well. Late Winter brassicas can be planted out, you may be able to buy plants if you haven’t brought your own on.
- All the soft fruit should have been harvested by now. Maybe make into jam.
- Lift shallots gently with a fork, and dry them for storage. Later, onions will also be ready for harvesting and drying. Spread them out in a greenhouse or cold frame, or outdoors if it is dry
- Continue deadheading flowers. Plants such as cosmos, California poppies, dahlias, roses and sweet peas really respond to this. It also extends the flowering season. Continue to feed pots and tubs with a liquid such as seaweed. Tomato food is also perfect for flowers.
- In the green house continue to feed and water all the crops. Tomatoes respond well to a weekly feed. Stop tomato plants by nipping off the top once five trusses of fruit have formed.
- Take cuttings from pelargoniums, penstemon and fuchsia.
- Once all the fruit is picked from your plum tree, thin any overcrowded branches. Try to do this in dry weather to avoid the silver leaf fungus getting into the cut branches.
- Water, if necessary, sparingly. Quite often it’s not required on the west coast of Scotland. Pots may need watering though. Watering in a dry spell should be done infrequently but thoroughly. Waste washing up water can be used. The washing up liquid acts as wetting agent.
- Summer raspberry canes can be cut down, leaving the new canes to fruit next year.