Just like April is the month to start sowing your vegetable seeds, August is the month where you harvest your bumper crops. The sheer amount of yields you can harvest this month is unlike anything else. Beetroot, peppers, radish, lettuce, peas, French beans, sweetcorn and so much more will be ready for lifting.
Last month I had a slight set back; my lettuces bolted. However, I did sow some more and in a few weeks I should hopefully have a fantastic crop to feed my family with. You can sow lettuce seeds in August through to October, but I prefer to plant them during this time of year as it reduces the risks involved. However, if you do want to sow seeds later on it is best to have them protected by a cloche, polytunnel or greenhouse – it’s also best to choose a hardier variety of lettuce, such as the Lettuce Arctic King.
I have been busy organising my allotment too. It hasn’t just been all fun and games sowing and harvesting. I have been in desperate need of a new on-site shed and luckily for me Notcutts have just launched their 20% off all sheds deal. Thankfully now I will be able to organise all my tools and seeds.
One crop my children are very persistent in being kept up to date with are our pumpkins. Last year, it wasn’t my greatest moment as to my children’s disappointment I forgot to grow the king of autumn vegetables. Instead for our Halloween party we had to resort to the supermarket to stock up.
If you’re just as keen to know how they’re doing, you’ll be pleased to find out they’re on the road to becoming a healthy sized crop. Early last month they were planted outside. With squashes (the pumpkin’s family) I have learnt from trial and error that the key to a bumper crop is the soil. You can grow pumpkins in virtually any soil type, but it needs to be fertile. Alternatively you can dig a 30cm deep hole and back fill with either some well-rotten manure or garden compost. Then heap a half mix of soil and compost into the hole and form a mound on top. The pumpkin can now be planted (deep enough to support the stem) into the hole made in the top of the heap.
I will keep you up to date with my pumpkin process. Hopefully when it comes to 31st October I will have some prize worthy pumpkins to gloat about.