Enjoying an August Harvest

If you grow some of your own food then you will know how satisfying it is to be able to harvest and eat the crops you have grown on your allotment or in your garden. This month, you should be thinking about the winter and about filling the hungry gap next spring. However, aside from some casual weeding and of course the watering, most of your time will likely be spent harvesting, and preparing and preserving that harvest if you are not going to eat it right away. Here are some of the things this bountiful month may bring:

SquashHarvesting from the Vegetable Patch

ChilliesCucumbers, courgettes, marrows, summer squash, Calabrese broccoli and other brassicas, lettuces and a wide variety of mixed salad leaves, beetroot, spinach, onions, main crop potatoes, tomatoes, sweet and chilli peppers, green beans, runner beans and much, much more. At times you will gaze around at a loss as to what to pick next and certainly not stumped as to what you should have for your dinner.

RaspberriesHarvesting from the Fruit Garden/Orchard

DamsonThis is the time when your forest garden, orchard or fruit garden will really come into its own. A variety of cane crops such as raspberries, blackberries, tayberries, wineberries etc. will be in fruit. Peaches, nectarines, apricots, figs, damsons and plums may all be ready to harvest as we go through this month and you may perhaps even get some apples towards the end of the month if you have some early ripening cultivars. This month is one of the most exciting months in an orchard. Just make sure you are ready to deal with soft fruit quickly and have plenty of space in the freezer or preserving jars on hand.

Herb GardenHarvesting Edible Flowers and Herbs

Herbs and flowers are abundant in a successful August garden. The key thing this month is to make the most of that abundance. Harvest plenty of cut flowers for your home and the homes of your friends and family and gather more herbs than you need to make the most of them fresh and to dry and store some for use throughout the winter months. You might have a very full herb garden at this time of year and just about all of it will be harvest-able this month.

As farmers gather in their crops, so too the home grower can reap the rewards of their labours. As the summer wears on, make notes on the successes and failures you have encountered so far in the season and work on solutions that could help you to gather an even bigger harvest and a better yield next time round.