August in the kitchen garden…

harvest

Here comes August…! It’s a really fun and rewarding month in the kitchen garden as there is so much to harvest. It’s also a time when gardeners start to sense that autumn is not far away, and thoughts turn to planting some leafy greens and brassicas over the colder months so as not to miss the boat.

Harvesting in August:

There really is so much happening in the veg patch this month…tomatoes rapidly start to ripen, second earlies can be dug up, onions swell ready to be lifted and dried out in the sun for a few days, leaves are getting bigger by the day, courgettes, peppers, beans and peas are producing like crazy and it can be difficult to stay on top of it all. It’s well worth checking your veg every 2 days to see what stage things are at and harvesting them as they are ready. Over the next month we’ll be giving you some tips on when to harvest and how to store certain veg so keep your eye out in the Weekend Veg Out newsletter.

Planting in August for harvesting this year:

If you’re quick you might just get one or two little extras in the ground in the first week of August that will give you a harvest in just a few weeks.

If you’re looking for a quick to grow veg patch, then our Summer Holidays Garden is perfect for planting right now.

 

What to plant in August for harvesting in the colder months:

Late summer is a great time to get a few brassicas planted out ready for you to harvest for warming casseroles and roasts as the weather turns colder.

These are all good for planting right through August to the end of September and can be used to plug gaps in your veg beds as you harvest your summer crop. We’d recommend doing this as it’s a better use of space than allowing those gaps to provide a home for unwelcome weeds which in turn provide a home for unwanted slugs. If you’ve got a few rows to fill, you could try  one of our top up gardens.

Looking ahead

It’s well worth having a think now about what you plan to do with the garden over the winter. Once your summer crop is over, it’s easy to abandon the veg patch until the following year, but doing so usually means that a whole load of weeds creep in and take over, giving you a bit of a headache next spring.

You may want to cover your raised beds with weed membrane or old carpet to stop this. Or, better still, put those beds to good use and grow over the winter as well. There’s nothing stopping you from having a healthy crop of your own broccoli, cabbages and kales as well as some quite unusual leafy veg over the winter, and it’s all much easier to grow in the Autumn and Winter as there are fewer pests and you don’t need to worry so much about watering. If you’re keen to give it a try, have a look at our Autumn Gardens for some inspiration, or become a Constant Gardener and we’ll keep you supplied with veg plants for 12 months.