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Love your veg in August

It’s a busy time on the veggie patch or allotment come August, when many vegetables will be ready to harvest. You can also put in some work now to ensure a good crop next summer.

Vegetable tasks for August

Watch out for potato blight when the weather is hot and humid, and if you want to stave off any potential attacks, consider using a suitable fungicide.

If you want potatoes for immediate use, main crop types can be lifted now. If you plan to store them, wait until September or October if possible.

Consider replacing any lifted potatoes with late season potato plants that should give a second crop around October.

Lift garlic, shallots and onions once the leaves are wilted and yellowing.

Any plants with flowers, pods or fruits on them should be watered well.

Water tomatoes regularly and use a high potash tomato feed once a week. Remove any lower leaves to assist ventilation and deter disease.

Pick out tomato side shoots, leaving five to six trusses of fruit on each plant. Tie leading shoots to stakes for support.

Sweetcorn should also be watered and adding a tomato feed will ensure the biggest cobs.

A tomato feed can also be beneficial for aubergine, cucumber or pepper plants.

Harvest courgettes by cutting off at the base with a sharp knife; thick gloves are highly recommended for this task.

Pick cucumbers often, as any remaining fruit can have a detrimental effect on the plant’s future crop. Pinch out any side shoots, two leaves from any developing fruit.

Lastly, pinch out runner bean tips once they reach the top of the support, and harvest often.

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