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Lots of crops can be harvested in August, including carrots, runner beans, beetroot, globe artichokes, cucumbers, courgettes, and second early potatoes; maincrops may be ready from the end of the month. You can also harvest onions and shallots – leave them to dry in a sunny spot before storing.
Prune trained apples and pears
Some fruit trees can be pruned in summer, including plums, to avoid the development of silver-leaf disease. Trained apples and pears can be pruned in summer, as can spur-fruiting, established apple trees.
Watch out for pests and diseases
Watch out for flea beetle on brassicas and related plants such as Swiss chard and rocket. The tiny holes they create don’t affect the vigour of established plants but make the leaves less appealing to eat – cover plants with fleece. Also look out for blossom end rot on tomatoes, which is caused by irregular watering.
You can still sow lots of crops in August, for harvests into autumn and beyond. They include lettuce (keep out of the glare of direct sun), rocket, spring onion, radish plus winter salads, including mibuna, mizuna, mustard leaf and lamb’s lettuce.
Cut back summer-fruiting raspberries
Once they have fruited, the canes of summer-fruiting raspberries can be cut down to the ground. Read our guide to pruning summer-fruiting raspberries.
Prepare for a holiday
Going on holiday? Give the plot a thorough soaking before you go, and harvest as many crops as you can, even if they’re small. If you can, get a friend or neighbour to water for you while you’re away.