Garden Gnome’s August Top Tips

Garden Gnome is back with his latest reminders on what to focus on this month.


In summer we need to weed and water.  It’s hot and dry out there so water well once a week.  Water at the base of the plant and try and avoid watering during the heat of the day.

Weeding and watering can be made easier and more effective by mulching the soil around our established plants (not seedlings); well-rotted manure and home-made compost are ideal; we can also use newspaper or cardboard covered with a covering of coarse woodchip (often free on allotment sites).  Pop some chicken pellets on the soil surface first to prevent nitrogen depletion (but not around your beans and peas as their roots produce nitrogen).
Water the roots of well-established plants thoroughly once a week; much more often if they are in containers, especially if it’s warm and windy.  Try out our ‘How to water well this summer post for more help with not wasting water.  And check our article Organic Weed Control – or how to avoid herbicides on tip tips for mulching.

Other tips for August

  1. Feed fruiting plants (such as tomatoes and peppers) weekly with organic liquid tomato feed or comfrey liquid.  See our How to. . . Make Comfrey ‘Tea’ guide.
  2. Harvest fruiting crops often to keep them productive (peas, beans, courgettes, etc).
  3. Lift spuds and use the beds to either plant out leeks and winter brassicas or sow with green manure.  Read Green Manures: Spring sowing update to find out how our member Russ trialled a range of green manures.
  4. Lift garlic and autumn planted onions and store them in a dry, airy place.  See our short film on How To … Harvest and Store Onions.
  5. Summer prune trained apple and pear trees and cherries and plums in late August.  Read our quick guide on Simple Summer Pruning.

Got some great pics of harvests?  Send them in to

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