My Runner Beans are a good three weeks behind on last year and whilst I am picking French Beans, they are certainly not as bountiful as in previous years.. We'll just have to hope for that Indian summer!!
What this weather IS good for, however, is SEED SOWING!
Damp, warm soil is absolutely perfect for seeds - much better than hot and dry weather - so if you do anything this weekend, get some seeds in the ground, or in module trays for planting out later if you don't have the gaps right now.
This week I have sown;
- Lettuce - Maravilla de Verano and All Year Round (both butterhead types), Valmaine (Romaine type) and Leaf Mix
- Swiss Chard & Ruby Chard
- Perpertual Spinach (for cooking)
- Soft Spinach (for salads)
- Radish Mooli (Daikon)
- Cavolo Nero (Italian Black Kale which will crop until frosts; a bit late for this perhaps, but worth a try!)
I have sown all but the rocket, radish and leaf salad in module trays, as I know I will have gaps in a month or so that I can pop the seedlings into.
The Chard and Perpetual Spinach plants will last through the winter in most places; I was cutting right up until April this year from a sowing made last September. The lettuces will also persist until first frosts, which can be as late as December, so quite worthwhile doing.
ALL OF THE ABOVE (bar the Cavolo Nero) can be sown right up until September, Indian Summer or not!
Other things to sow now that will (most probably!) give a harvest before winter;
- Spring Onions
- Later Carrot varieties
- Other lettuces/salads
Tips for the Perfect Veg Garden in AUGUST
- Try and keep no more than 4 courgettes on a plant at any one time - DON'T leave oversized ones on the plant; it's a waste of it's energy and water. Cut off some older leaves (those nearest the base) esp. any that look mildewy or faded; again these are a waste of the plants resources and cutting will encourage fresh vigour.
- Feed all Curcubitas fortnightly (cougettes, cucumbers, squash)
- Feed Tomatoes fortnightly; you may need to trim some leaves to allow light on the fruits, and remember to check for sideshoots that need removing
- Feed beans monthly
- Check beans for picking. All begin cropping from the bottom up, so check there first and look from all angles if possible - it's easy to miss those hanging behind leaves!
- If you have cleared a crop, replenish the soil with a little compost.
Plenty to do! But that's the joy of being a gardener, right?!