In The Vegetable Garden This August

Apply a high-potash fertiliser such as tomato food once fruits start to form on peppers, cucumber and aubergine plants.

Pinch out the growing tips of your aubergine plants once they have 5 or 6 fruits. Pick fruits while they’re young and shiny.

Water sweetcorn plants regularly and feed with tomato food to get the best cobs.

Limit the fruits on a squash plant to about three, but make sure these fruits are well established before pinching out the surplus.

Continue to feed tomato plants with tomato food and remove lower leaves to help with air circulation and prevent disease. Pinch out the top of the tomato plants to concentrate the growth into the fruit that has already formed. Aim to leave 5 or 6 trusses of fruit per plant.

Continue to harvest second early potatoes now, perfect for salads.

Spring-sown carrots and beetroot will be ready to harvest now although they can be left in the ground to keep growing.

Cut back herbs to encourage a new flush of tasty leaves that you can harvest before the first frost. Dry or freeze excess herbs to use in the kitchen later on.

Lift and dry onions, shallots and garlic once the foliage has flopped over and yellowed. Store them in onion bags to prevent mould developing.

Sweetcorn is ready to harvest when you can pop a corn with your thumbnail and the juices are milky.

Start harvesting your main crop potatoes as the leaves yellow and die back. Store you potatoes in hessian sacks which exclude light but allow ventilation.

Top Tip:

Pinch out the tips of runner bean plants once they reach the top of their support. This encourages side-shooting and more beans at a managable height for picking.

This Month's Key Tips
  • Deadhead flowering plants regularly.
  • Keep ponds and water features topped up.
  • Watering - particularly containers and new plants, preferably with recycled water or stored rainwater.
  • Harvest vegetables regularly as they become ready to promote new growth.