Going on holiday? Here’s a veg patch checklist for you.

August is an important month in the veg patch because so many things are ready for harvesting and growth is at its fastest. It’s also a nice time of year to go on holiday and you may need to leave your precious vegetables unattended for a few days or so. If you’re planning to be away, and assuming you haven’t managed to persuade a friendly neighbour to tend to your veg while you’re away, it’s worth doing the following a day or two before you go:

  1. Give your veg patch a good weeding. Pull out any larger weeds and then hoe it over to get rid of the smaller offenders.
  2. Make sure everything has been well watered, preferably with a liquid feed. This is particularly important for squashes and pumpkins, tomatoes, beans and peas and anything growing in containers. If your tomatoes are in pots you could stand the pots in a tray of water while you’re away.
  3. Once you’ve watered, add a mulch. A layer of any organic matter – e.g.┬ácompost or straw – will help to keep weeds at bay and retain moisture whilst you’re away.
  4. Harvest what you can before you go and cook yourself up a couple of nice healthy dinners! Some things will store, some things can be given away, and others are better left to rot in the compost heap rather than on the plant.
  5. Make sure greenhouse windows are opened – better that the plants are well ventilated and a little cooler than normal than too hot and airless.