Grow6: August

Some of us are still waiting for summer to return, and it’s time to turn our thoughts to growing through autumn and winter! There’s lots to think about. Rather than ‘spring’ winter growing upon you in the summertime, from next week, we thought we’d help you make the seasonal switch and give you some notice to gather the resources you need to keep growing! Aside from dodging the showers and potato blight this week, it’s time to focus on sourcing and sowing winter greens. Here’s our weekly update for the growing week ahead.

If you’ve missed something, scroll through weekly updates or Grow6 crop pages to catch up.


Keep picking late sowings of peas and cutting down and composting plants that have turned yellow and no longer produce pods. Cut pea plants at soil level taking care to leave pea roots in the soil to add nitrogen that the roots ‘fix’. Winter greens and kale plants can be planted into soils where peas once were.


Bush tomatoes may well need a careful trim to remove some congestion in the centre of the plant, improve air circulation and encourage sunlight to ripen green fruits. With sharp scissors carefully cut out any brown leaves. 

Cordon tomatoes, if well fed and watered, will keep growing upwards and outwards. Having one central growing stem, and regularly removing side shoots ensures the plant puts energy into the fruit that we want. Once cordon tomatoes have produced between 4-6 ‘trusses’  (sets of fruit), it’s time to ‘stop’ them. Cutting the main stem, just above the top tomato tress, signals to the plant to stop growing and direct energy into swelling and ripening fruit. It’s a bit of a judgement call as to when to do this, depending on your growing conditions, watch for the green fruit for the next couple of weeks, and then make the cut and stop the weekly liquid feed.


Currants will slow down, most strawberries are over, and autumn raspberries will begin flowering. If you are wondering who might have pinched your fruit, keep an eye out for birds!


Giant winter spinach, parsley, pak choi and other oriental greens can now be sown into pots and trays on warm windowsills. Kale plants and young seedlings with 4 or 5 leaves can be planted out before soils start to cool. As with spring, all new growth is vulnerable to slug and snail attack, so seedlings and young plants benefit from any tactics to deter our slimy friends; crushed egg shells, coffee grounds, hair clippings, beer traps or night patrol!


Have you cut and dried herbs for winter? Thyme, marjoram and sage can all be cut, bunched and hung up somewhere to dry and add flavour to winter stews and soups.


Tatties planted early can be cut back and dug up. Maincrop tatties may still be in flower and have some growing to do in the next couple of weeks. Watch out for potato blight, spots on the edge of leaves and soggy stems are quite characteristic; this is easily confused with your tatties being ready to lift where leaves yellow from the bottom of the plant. If you suspect blight, cut the tattie shaws (tops), dispose of the shaws at commercial waste recycling, so you are not spreading it, and leave the tatties untouched for 3 weeks to stop the blight spores spreading down into the tubers. It can be hard to tell the difference; Bob, from One Seed Forward, keeps us straight on our socials.

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