August is a good month at the allotment, all the work during the summer is paying off and there’s plenty to harvest, even things that didn’t quite live up to expectation can be put down to experience. But don’t be thinking you can put your feet up just yet, well maybe after you’ve sown a few seeds and done a few jobs. Here’s what to do on the allotment in August to keep it all growing nicely.
How to grow winter salad:
Try to find an area of the garden or allotment that’s sheltered away from cold winds. Add compost to the soil and rake it over to make it smooth and lump-free, this makes sure the seedlings can easily poke through.
Sow the seeds in short, shallow rows 1.5cm/1/2 in deep, water and label, if it’s likely to get very cold overnight, cover the rows with fleece or something similar, to protect them.
You can also grow these in a container, and if you’re quick you can still sow carrot seeds, by September there’ll be less daylight and warmth for seeds to grow.
These are hardy types of salad:
- corn salad
- pak choi
Jobs to do now:
There’s the usual routine of weeding and mulching the soil by adding a nice, thick layer of compost, I try and do this after it’s rained to seal moisture into the soil.
Tomatoes, pumpkins and squash need feeding with a tomato fertiliser. Keep pinching out the side-shoots on tomato plants that grow in the “V” between the main shoot and the side stem.
Cucumber and tomatoes need to be tied into their canes regularly to stop them toppling over, all that fruit can make them top-heavy.
Grapevines need to have their long side-shoots cut back and leaves snipped off so that the fruit can bask in the sunshine and ripen.
Planting fruit bushes:
It’s a good time to get the soil ready for planting bare-root fruit bushes in autumn, dig out weeds weeds, spread compost and add some fertiliser like chicken pellets to get it all ready. I’ll write more about this next month.
This is how the allotment looked back in April, what a difference four months makes.