August 2015

29th August

The greenhouse has had the glazing completedThe weather was warm and sunny this morning and my wife joined me at the allotment and while she was busy spending her time harvesting crops ( including Beans Tomatoes ) from the allotment and weeding some of the beds plus she cut the top of the leading stems of the tomato plants to encourage all the strength to concentrate on the ripening of the tomatoes. I spent most of my time completing the glazing of the greenhouse. See image on the right. Finally we watered and did a bit more weeding before returning home for lunch.

28th August

 Potato, Parsnip and Leeks bed weededI had a great morning at the allotment I started by strimming and cutting the grass paths that had grown substantially due to the last few days of rain.

I spent the rest of my time cutting back the foliage and stems of the main crop potatoes ready to harvest over the next few days, that’s if the weather stays fine. I also weeded the area to include my potatoes, parsnips and leeks see image on the left.

Finally I harvested some Tomatoes before returning home for lunch. When I got home my plastic greenhouse sheets had arrived ( at long last ) I will hope to finish the glazing of the greenhouse on my next visit.

27th August

Bed weeded and seeded with green manureSpent this morning weeding the beds that I will then sow with green manure. I then sowed green manure on the prepared beds I used Hungarian Grazing Rye and Winter Tares. The image on the right shows the bed that was used for my first early and second early potatoes, weeded raked and green manure sown.

I then harvested some more crops including Runner and French Beans, Beetroot, Spinach, Lettuce and a few more tomatoes before returning home for lunch.

25th August

Brassica bed doing wellVisited the allotment this morning. I started by spraying my Brassica bed as I noticed a few caterpillars eating their breakfast. The image on the left shows my healthy looking brassica bed.

I then harvested my comfrey and set up another load to make comfrey feed by filling the barrel with chopped comfrey leaves.

At last I managed to harvest my first tomatoes from both the plants outside and also in the greenhouse. The cucumbers are developing but are not ready yet. I then harvested Spinach, Beans, Lettuce, Radish, and beetroot, before returning home for lunch. I then prepared the beans and spinach for freezing, ready for eating in the winter.

20th August

Onions Bagged upAnother visit to the allotment this morning. The ground was very wet after a couple of days of some much appreciated rain. My first job was to check my comfrey feed and I drained off another 4pts of pure comfrey feed. I then bagged up my onions that have been drying out in the greenhouse, I managed a half sack of Red onions and a half sack of White onions. See image on the left. I spent some of my time harvesting Runner Beans, French Beans, Courgettes ( the size of Marrows ) and some Raspberries. See image on the right. Finally I removed some of the bottom leaves and side shoots from my tomato plants to encourage the tomatoes to ripen. I then returned home for lunch. After lunch my wife and I blanched the Runner and French Beans ready for freezing.

15th August

My wife joined me at the allotment this morning. Last night we had a great deal of rain so I wanted to check the greenhouse and the beds for any damage. My old greenhouse has glass missing in the skylight window so my onions that were drying out in the greenhouse managed to go swimming in rain water, so I spent most of my time sorting and drying them out while my wife spent her time harvesting more Beans, Carrots, Raspberries and Courgettes, before we both returned home for our lunch.

13th August

Just a quick visit to the allotment today to give the beds a good water. I harvested some Raspberries, Runner Beans and Courgettes before returning home for my elevenses.

12th August

Made a short visit to the allotment this morning. I spent most of my time repairing the tap on the water butt that I use to make my comfrey feed, as is was loose and leaking. I emptied the comfrey and tightened the tap before returning the broken down comfrey to the container to continue rotting down. I then started to break down the earth floor of the new greenhouse to start to level it. I decided to use polycarbonate plastic instead of glass on the missing panels so I am waiting for them to be delivered. It was drizzling with rain so I returned home for an early lunch.

10th August

Glass added to greenhouseAnother hot morning at the allotment. I spent all my time this morning finding the correct glass for the greenhouse, which I fitted without any real problems. The only problem was I did not have enough glass ( 4 x 2ft panes missing ) for the rear of the greenhouse so I may make do with either environ-mesh fitted across the back or the green builders debris netting. if that does not work I will purchase some more glass.
The image on the right shows the glass added to the greenhouse.

8th August

Onions drying in the greenhouseMy wife joined me at the allotment and while I spent my time working on the base of the new greenhouse, by adding some bricks and some cement, to make sure that it will take the weight of the glass, my wife harvested some Courgettes, Raspberries, Runner beans and some Plums that were given to us by another allotment holder.

Finally my wife was able to lift my onion crop which has been transferred to the old greenhouse to dry out, see image on the left showing my onions drying in the greenhouse. We then went home for some lunch.

7th August

Greenhouse door and window addedI had a good morning at the allotment. I spent my time working on the greenhouse. I managed to add the door and window to the greenhouse
( see image on the right ) I then tightened the frame ready to add a bit more support to the base and finally add the glass which I will continue doing tomorrow.

Finally I removed any tomato side shoots from the tomatoes and gave the beds and greenhouse a good watering. I harvested a few crops before returning home for lunch.

5th August

An other nice morning at the allotment. I started by fixing the frame of the new greenhouse, I finally managed to fit the support bar for the sliding door. I will need to collect the rest of the glass, window and door for the greenhouse so that I can start to complete the greenhouse ready to plant up next season. I completed my mornings work by watering the beds while my wife tied up my outdoor tomatoes and harvested some more runner beans..

3rd August

Grass cut and Pak-choi covered with fleeceI had a good morning at the allotment today. I gave the beds a good water, then I harvested some Runner Beans, Calabraise, Courgettes and Raspberries. See image above left. The next job was to cut the grass paths and trim the edges, I followed this task my covering my pak-choi seedlings with fleece to protect them. See image on the right. I finished by tidying my old strawberry bed and returning home for lunch.

August

What needs doing this month

Fruit

  • Pick early apples and pears while under-ripe.
  • Summer prune restricted forms of apples and pears.
  • Pick loganberries, cut out fruited shoots, and tie in new shoots.
  • Spray black currant's and cherries.
  • Prune fruited shoots of wall-trained peaches.
  • Support heavily laden plum branches and complete pruning.
  • Protect September fruiting raspberries against birds and wasps.
  • Plant rooted strawberry runners.
  • Protect ripening grapes with glass.

Vegetables

  • Cut Marrows and Courgette's as they are needed.
  • Thin out sowing of Spinach and Seakale sown last month.
  • Gather French and Runner beans while young and tender.
  • If there is any bare ground without a crop in it, consider planting a green manure such as Rape or Mustard to help with the soil fertility next year.
  • Sow Onion seed in a cold frame for transplanting in Spring.
  • Sow Spring salad onions such as White Lisbon.
  • Continue to watch for Blight on Potatoes and spray with a fungicide if found. It is also worth checking outdoor Tomatoes for signs of this disease as they are part of the same family so can also get it.
  • Start to blanch Celery by wrapping the shoots in newspaper or corrugated cardboard and earth up the plants.
  • Make sowing of Chinese leaves, leaf beet and spinach for crops into autumn and winter.
  • Sow seeds of spring cabbages
  • Pick runner beans frequently to encourage more flowering and keep well watered to prevent flower drop.
  • Keep an eye on Brassicas for whitefly. Spray at first signs to keep down infestations.
  • Continue to keep Celery and Runner beans well watered. They will benefit from a feed at this time.
  • Japanese Onions sown last Autumn should now be ready for lifting. Place on trays to ripen in the sun.
  • Keep an eye on Peas for Mildew, spray with fungicide at first sign of infection.
  • Sow Spring Cabbage seeds.
  • Make a further sowing of Lettuce for late Autumn use.
  • Cut Cucumbers in frames as they mature.
  • Continue to feed outdoor Tomatoes and remove some of the lower leaves to allow the sun to ripen the fruit
  • Brussels Sprouts and other winter greens will benefit from a feed of general fertiliser sprinkled around the base of each plant. Do not let it touch the leaves or they may scorch.
  • Sow more winter salads and Chinese leaves.
  • Cut back the stems of potatoes, particularly if they are showing signs of blight, and lift the first main crop varieties. If slugs are causing problems, consider lifting all of them and placing in storage.
  • Stake Brussels sprouts as they get bigger to prevent them from rocking in the wind and becoming loose.

 

Herbs

  • Take cuttings of bay, lavender, mint, rosemary, rue and sage, and insert in sandy soil in
  • open ground, or in pots in a cold frame.
  • Divide chives every fourth year.
  • Collect and dry dill and fennel seeds.
  • Store dried herbs before they have had time to re-absorb moisture

Greenhouse

  • Keep the greenhouse cool by careful shading and ventilation
  • Water Carefully throughout the month
  • Sow lettuce for winter cropping
  • Harvest tomatoes, cucumbers, sweet peppers and aubergines
  • Train, feed and side shoot tomatoes
  • Train and feed cucumbers
  • Water a feed vines carefully
  • Harvest peaches and nectarines
  • Harvest strawberries
  • Pot up newly rooted strawberry runners.

General:

  • Cut grass paths
  • check plant supports for movement
  • Keep weeds down by hoeing
  • watch for slugs and pests