The Kitchen Garden: summer's bounty
PUBLISHED: 21:38 03 August 2015 | UPDATED: 21:38 03 August 2015
Belinda Gray's guide to growing fruit and veg
It’s a jungle out there! Everything is growing, going to seed and some plants are bolting as the August kitchen garden continues to romp away.
Hopefully you’ve fed and watered and are reaping the harvests of plenty of wonderful summer produce.
Squashes, pumpkins and courgettes may be showing tinges of powdery mildew on leaves so keep plants well watered. Ideally water heavily several times a week through an upturned water bottle dug into the soil at planting time, directed at the roots.
August and September sun will ripen the fruits ready to pick and store for use over winter. Raise them up as they get heavier on tiles or straw to avoid them getting skin blemishes from sitting on moist soil.
This is such a valuable time to continue sowing for autumn to keep your trug filled with nutritious, pure vegetables and salad leaves, so keep on sowing.
The soil remains very warm enabling seed germination to occur rapidly. Your soil will benefit from some dug in organic matter in areas that have had earlier crops growing, so replenish from your rotting compost bins with wonderful dark crumbly decomposed matter or some year-old farmyard manure.
Opt for hardier leaves and roots that will survive the early frosts. Choose the valuable varieties listed in the seed catalogues that are hardy for late autumn growing.
There is a wealth of fast growing crops that you can be harvesting in 6-8 weeks – here are a few ideas to inspire.