The Vegetable Growing Year: Jobs to do in August

Traditionally, August has always had the best of the summer weather. However, over recent years that hasn’t always been the case. Autumn is just around the corner and it’s time to start thinking about autumn and winter.

The potato harvest

You should have harvested your first and second early potatoes by now and your main crop should be ready to harvest towards the end of the month. To prevent damage to the skins, cut the tops off and leave the tubers in the ground for a couple of weeks. This will allow the skins to harden, allowing them to store better. When digging them out, remove any soil and leave the tubers to dry in the sun for a day or two before storing. Any damaged tubers should be eaten first as these will rot. Keep an eye out for blight, this usually occurs around July/August time.


Start to pinch out the growing tips of the tomato plants. This will divert the plants energy into the fruit. Ensure your tomato plants  don’t dry out as they will struggle to take up vital nutrients such as calcium which can cause blossom end rot.

Clear the beds

When a crop has finished, clear the bed of plant material and compost it. Any plants affected by a disease, such as potato blight, burn the foliage. If the bed is going to be empty for a while, consider sowing some green manure or covering with cardboard and organic matter. This will help add nutrients back into the soil and help suppress the weeds.

What to sow now

August is the perfect time to start planning for winter and next spring.

  • Sow spring cabbage and kale into modules. These can be planted into the ground when you have space available and the plants are big enough. Make sure you protect them from any pests such as pigeons.
  • Towards the end of the month, you can start sowing some hardy lettuce to grow in the greenhouse throughout the winter months.

What to harvest now

Most of your crops should be ready to harvest now; beans, cabbage, carrots, courgettes, peppers and chillies, just to name a few.

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