This week commencing is the National Allotments Week.
Allotments have been around for years bringing joy to those green thumbed individuals. Bringing life to a patch of land and every successful harvest is a small victory. Allotments are ever growing with a high demand to embrace a more sustainable lifestyle along with the lack of space in some households. National Allotment Week is on between 10th – 16th August this year, but don’t worry if you don’t have an allotment as you can create your own mini allotment in your garden. A mini allotments can be quite easy to create either by digging up a small patch of land in the garden or using containers, if your short on space.
Here are some jobs for August for the allotment,
Harvesting – Lots of crops can be harvested in August including runner beans, beetroot, cucumbers, courgettes and second early potatoes.
Weeding – A job that must be done, so make sure to keep on top of those pesky weeds from spreading so your crops aren’t competing for space.
Pruning – Some fruit trees can be pruned, including plums, to avoid the development of silver-leaf disease. Trained apples and pears can be pruned, as can spur-fruiting, established apple trees. Cut back summer-fruiting raspberries, once they have finished fruiting, cut down the cane to the ground.
Supporting – If you’re growing tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers, don’t forget to tie them to a plant supports. As the fruits develop they’ll become heavy and the plants will require extra support to the main stems to avoid breakages.
Sowing – You can still sow lots of crops in August, for harvests into autumn and beyond. They include lettuce, rocket, spring onion, radish, spring cabbage and cauliflower.
Earthing up – Earth up potatoes and around brassicas (cauliflowers, broccoli, kale) to support unsteady stems. And trench your celery to keep the stems out of the light.
Greenhouse/Polytunnel – Ensure good ventilation. It can get incredibly hot in a greenhouse with strong sun and scorch your plants. You should also consider shading the greenhouse with mesh screening. Keep pinching off the side shoots with your tomatoes and stop them a few leaves after a truss by pinching out the growing stem. Keep an eye out for pests such as aphids, white fly, red spider mite.
Maintaining – General maintenance around the allotment is also needed before the harsher weather approaches. Painting and resealing your fences. Fixing any broken greenhouse panels or leaks. Trim any box hedging before the first frosts arrives. And don’t forget to organise that shed with all your essential tools.