Garden jobs in August

allotment in august

This post is a part of a series about the things I usually do/sow/harvest in my garden in a given month. I post at the beginning of each month and at the end of each month I check in to let you know how the month went in our garden(s). I am gardening in the eastern part of the Netherlands, in a cool temperate climate, roughly zone 7. Your sowing times might be somewhat different depending on your local climate.

August to do list:
Sowing outside:
lettuce, rocket, chervil, corn salad, winter purslane, chard, fall radishes

tomatoes, egg plant, zucchini (a lot!), potatoes, broccoli, peppers, lettuce, French beans, red beets, sweet corn, chili peppers, carrots, chard. kohlrabi

Support tomatoes and continue removing side shoots in indeterminate varieties, remove any diseased plants
Weed as necessary
Water (if there is no rain) at a rate of about 20 liters /m2
Put old tiles under developing winter squash fruits to prevent rotting
Check all brassica plants regularly and remove any eggs or caterpillars of cabbage white butterflies
Apply liquid fertilizer to “hungry”crops such as cabbages, zucchini, tomatoes and leeks

Yesterday we returned home from our vacation in the Czech Republic which is the reason this post is a little delayed. I had occasional access to internet during our holiday but it was not very reliable and also rather slooooow. But never mind, I have unpacked and made myself a cup of vervain tea now and am sitting down to tell you (and me) what we should be getting on with this month in our gardens.

clearing out the veg beds
First of all, we need to clear some space – any weeds and bolting lettuce should be pulled out and thrown on the compost heap. Because we’ve mulched everything, there’s not an awful lot of weeds but anything that’s not producing anymore or is diseased should go. Even though bolting lettuce is really pretty, we need to be ruthless.

bolting lettuce
And now that we made space, let’s sow! Yes, there are still vegetables to sow now, mainly hardy leafy things for autumn/winter salads, such as chervil, winter purslane, corn salad and rocket. Even lettuce can still be sown, but that can be a little tricky: if the soil is too warm (and that can easily happen in August) the seeds will not germinate. The critical period is several hours after sowing which means that if you sow in the afternoon, the seeds will start germinating at night when it’s cooler. Sometimes when it’s really hot, I sow in seed trays and leave them in our cellar which does not get warmer than 18 degrees Celsius. As soon as the seeds germinate, they needs to be moved somewhere light.

august sowings
The vegetables that were allowed to stay might require some maintenance, plants need to be tied in and tomato side shoots need to be removed before we get lost in a tomato jungle where all tomato plants are suffering from blight due to insufficient air circulation. An application of liquid fertilizer is also a good idea. I find that it makes a big difference in the size of leeks for example.

kohlrabi and french beans
Winter squash plants grow like crazy and refuse to stay in their allocated bed, so I try to guide the shoots where I want them and if need be pin them down with a stick. Often in wet weather the fruits start rotting and to prevent that I put an old tile under them.
Other than that, we just need to enjoy the ample harvest!

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