August has seen some scorching weather, but also unseasonably cool and wet days. The slightly odd weather and the fact that we’ve been away for a decent portion of the month, has seen some super growth by veg and weeds alike.
August has offered much to harvest. The beetroot have swollen to a good size, and the French beans have been plentiful, giving us a load of different dishes, including a new found classic – tagliatelle with pesto, green beans and new potatoes. Last year’s cucumber monster has reared his head once more, and we have an ongoing supply of the coolest of vegetables. The soft fruit this year has been amazing; raspberries have followed on from the strawberries, and now we have a bumper crop of blackberries to devour. Our early apple tree has been laden with fruit for a while, but they have just become ripe and we are inundated in apples. The trouble with having an early variety of apple like Beauty of Bath is that they don’t store well, so I’ve been bottling and making to use them as well as I can.
A new row of salad is due to be sown in the next few days, and I will sow more Cime di Rapa too, as the first few rows have been decimated by the weather, pests and (if I’m honest) a little neglect on my behalf. I’ve failed to prepare properly for the winter period, so may have to source some kale and other brassicas from somewhere to fill a gap or two. In the greenhouse the tomatoes, peppers and chillis are doing their own thing, but I’ll look to sow some salads as space becomes available.
As I mentioned, our trips away from home during August have resulted in a little wild growth, and as a result there are many jobs to do in September. One of the major jobs is to prepare ground for the autumn/winter growing period. Depending on my success in finding crops to pop in, or sow, this may also involve the sowing of green manures. I’ve had little success in the past with these, ending up on one occasion with a mass spreading of rye grass across a section of plot, and failing to remove it all properly. However, this year if I have space, I’m going to revitalise the ground with a green manure. Any ideas which work best?
This post is contributing to The Garden Share Collective; an international group of bloggers who share their vegetable patches, container gardens and the herbs they grow on their window sills.
I love your photos and it sounds like you’re getting a good supply of fruit and veg! We’ve started composting and have dug out a veg patch ready for next year, but the early apples have made some gorgeous fresh juice.
Having an allotment or veg patch at home is such a great way to introduce kids to new foods. We’ve juiced some of our early apples too. Last year we juiced loads and I preserved it by pasteurising it https://spadeforkspoon.com/2013/09/11/an-apple-a-day/
I’ve always liked the mix of vetch and oats. Oats winter kill where we are which is useful as then I don’t have some grass growing rampant in the spring – YMMV. The vetch survives our winters (we get to about -20C here), but I find it easier to kill in the spring so not a problem. Recently I haven’t been growing as many cover crops. They are so useful, but we have a huge slug problem anytime I use them. So I’ve stopped. I just collect more leaves in the fall to compost to use as organic matter. It isn’t as good as a cover crop, but it works.
Thanks for the advice Daphne.
I do intend to grow rye grass as I have clay and that is supposed to break it up. Not had a problem with it in the past but vetch sounds an interesting one to try.
Yeah, we have clay soil too. Hence my rye experiment before. May try again, but vetch sounds a good bet.
I have never done a green manure crop, so I will be interested to see what others suggest and what you do plant. I always go with beans after my soil has been exhausted after a few years. It has worked so far with our soil. Glad you have had a great summers bounty, I like the sound of soft fruits, raspberries and blackberries. I need to put some in, but I guess all in good time.
The soft fruits are always a winner with the kids too!
What a stunning pear and your plot looks wonderful with a great diversity of plants. For a green manure I compost comfrey leaves in water in a wheelbarrow for a few days for a great fertilizer (though you can’t beat chicken manure for zing). Comfrey grews incredibly quickly and from cuttings, root or self seeding 😀
Yeah, I must use my comfrey plant more effectively. Thanks for the reminder.
Your description of the berries has made me look forward to ours starting again. The kids loved finding them each day in the garden. I have planted a few more plants this year in the hope of more fruit so that some make it inside. Have a great month in the garden.
Yeah, we always have that problem. Most strawberries, raspberries, peas even, never make it home to be cooked. They’re too good picked and eaten straight away!