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Wednesday 1 August 2012

The Vegetable Plot - AUGUST

At this time of year, with usually high temperatures, it’s best to restrict the last sowings of salad crops to fast growing lettuces such as Little Gem or Tom Thumb.

Some types of endive will grow successfully, along with radishes, mustard and cress and hardy spring onions. 

Feed and train tomatoes and stop outdoor plants from further growing after four trusses have set by pinching out the tips of the main stems. 

Onions from January and March sowings will be ripening off. A second sowing of spring cabbages can be made. Winter spinach and spinach beet can be sown in a sheltered place, the leaves of the spinach beet being used as a substitute for spinach. 

If you don’t already have strawberries you could buy some pot-grown plants and grow them in raised beds. Young strawberry plants in existing beds should have good roots and the runners can be severed. Fruit trees in trained forms of cordons, fans and espaliers are best pruned now, rather than waiting until winter. 

  • Thin vegetable seedling 
  • Lift second-early potatoes 
  • Lift early beetroot and spring-sown onions 
  • Make successional sowings of endive, lettuce, carrots, radishes 
  • Blanch endive sown in late April 
  • Blanch leeks 
  • Clear out spent cucumber 
  • Sow onions 
  • Sow winter spinach and spinach beet 
  • Start to earth up maincrop celery 

Gardener’s notes:

Crops in season: 

Globe artichoke, broad beans, French beans, runner beans, beetroot, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, endive, kohl rabi, lettuce, marrows, mustard and cress, onions, peas potatoes, radish, spinach, sweet corn, tomatoes, turnips 

Fruit in season: 

Apples, blackberries, cherries, red currants, white currants, black currants, gooseberries, grapes, loganberries, melons, mulberries, pears, plums 

Under glass:

Aubergines, capsicums, cucumbers, tomatoes, apricots, figs, grapes, melons, nectarines, peaches

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