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The fruit and vegetable garden

August 2012




Previously in The Fruit & Vegetable Garden...

July 2012

June 2012

May 2012


Fruit & Veg Garden Index

TomatoesAugust should really be the time to reap the rewards of your labours in the vegetable garden.

Broad beans may have finished, but have been supplanted by an excellent runner bean crop, which seems to have thrived with the wet weather, but do remember that runner beans are particularly thirsty, so continue to water well in dry spells.

The foliage of maincrop potatoes has now died down so the tubers will be lifted at the end of this month, left on the surface of the soil to dry the skins for a few days and then stored somewhere dry and cool in paper or hessian sacks.

Onions and shallots can be lifted when the foliage has died down and leave these to dry out for a few days as well before storage for winter use.

Carry on picking courgettes when around four to six inches long to prolong the cropping season and summer broccoli should be continually harvested to prevent the florets turning into flowers. All surpluses at this time of year can be stored or frozen for later use.

Sweetcorn should be watered if the weather is dry, particularly at flowering time; tap the tassels when fully developed to aid pollination and liquid feed when the cobs start to develop and the last sowing of carrots and swede can be made before the middle of the month for winter harvesting and brussels can be sown for sturdy plants next year.

Aubergine plants should be misted to aid pollination and fed with liquid tomato fertilizer when the fruits are developing; allow a maximum of six fruits per plant, remove any other flowers after this.

Continue to feed tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers once a week and water daily to maintain vigorous cropping in the greenhouse.


ApplesPick early apples and pears and try to use them immediately as they will not keep. To test whether the fruit is ready, lift a fruit in the palm of your hand and, with the slightest twist, the fruit will part company from the tree if it is ripe. Never pull a fruit leaving the stalk on the tree or breaking off the spur. It may be necessary to support over-laden fruit tree branches to prevent them snapping, as this can lead to fungal infection in the wounds.

Summer raspberries have finished fruiting now, so cut the old canes down to ground level and tie in the new canes for next year. Autumn fruiting raspberries should now be ready to pick, so should compensate for the loss of the summer varieties!

When fruit bushes such as black and red currants and gooseberries have been picked, it is good practice to prune the bushes to remove dead or damaged wood and around a third of older wood. The aim of this pruning being to promote new, vigorous growth from the base and to keep the centre of the bushes open and light.

If you need new strawberry plants for next year then pot up some of the young plants produced on runners, if you don`t need the new plants then cut off the runners to maintain the plant`s strength. Try to clear away old runners and dead foliage from around the plants to prevent mildew on the developing fruit

Wasps can become a nuisance at this time of year so hang traps baited with beer or syrup amongst the trees to trap them.

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