You are hereAugust 2011 updated mid month
August 2011 updated mid month
UPDATED 14 AUGUST
Summer lettuce and endive in mid August, planted late June and picked four times so far
The first half of August has continued to offer wonderful growing weather with alternating soft rain, soft sun, warm nights and no great heat. Not so good for holidaymakers, great for vegetables and fruit. Many trees have cropped or are about to crop a harvest of high quality:
APRICOT FLAVORCOT from 6yr old tree on west wall Williams pears too, free standing tree
Plums Blasdon Red are now dropping, they have dense flesh and are good for cooking or eating fresh, also both my gage trees are ripening, an exciting moment as the season (from April to August) is not always warm enough for gages in Somerset. Apples are ripening earlier than usual and I hope they hand on some more as we want them for autumn and winter, not late summer. Today I picked some lovely 'Scrumptious' because birds were starting to peck them relentlessly - and the flavour lives up to their name.
Onions have yielded amazingly well, see the dig/no dig banner for more details of the harvest on those beds. Multi-sown modules, of four to six onions on average, have yielded about three quarters of a kilogram each. They need to have been pulled by now and when tops are less than half green they can be cut off to about three inches of stem, then keep the bulbs as warm and dry as possible so they develop a nice skin for storage. If they have mildew (neck rot) you need to use them fairly quickly, before the rot spreads. To prevent and lessen mildew next year, do not sow or plant Japanese overwintering onions, whose leaves enable mildew spores to survive winter in number and then infect spring sown/planted onions in May and June.
From 10 modules each, dug bed on left, undug bed right Sturon onions sown Feb indoors, planted early April
With all this bounty, there are also some pests. As in most Augusts, lettuce root aphid is present and becomes noticeable in dry weather when plants suddenly go limp, due to the whitish grey aphids damaging their roots. Sometimes they are present on the roots of large, well established lettuce which manage to continue growing, especially if soil is kept moist.
Lettuce Chartwell weakened terminally by root aphids Pale grey clusters - hundreds of aphids, mature plant
I have just sown turnips and winter radish today: this is about the last call for them and I sowed six rows of different varieties to assess their growth and taste. In mid August you can still be sowing land cress, oriental leaves, rocket and coriander. Sowing ideas for later in August include spring cabbage and spring onions in the last week, also lambs lettuce and salads such as endive, spinach and lettuce for covering with cloches in winter.
two varieties of winter radish and four varieties of turnip
Tunnel crops have been cropping heavily, with the exception of some aubergine plants. At first I though it was something in the soil but then noticed a dramatic comparison between two different varieties:
Moneymaker on left, large plabnt and small fruit, Monarca on right, the opposite!
Finally a quick look at the bottom garden in the middle of August:
perennial Daubenton kale in front, new sowings and plantings behind
POSTED LATE JULY
Some lovely growing weather in July has set the scene for, one hopes, a bountiful August of many harvests.
sweetcorn with Orange Hokkaido winter squash Summer lunch - white and yellow beetroot (white is sweeter)
gaps appearing in the bottom garden, after salads & beans - a parsley plant ready to be set out
bending onion stems before pulling, helps necks to dry multi sown onion modules (Sturon) have grown well
notice the thin strips eaten out of leaves, caterpillar is invisible in leek's heart leaves