Unusually for the UK, most of us have had another fortnight of mostly glorious weather; the kind of weather that you always hope you’ll have in late August, but don’t usually get. We even had a mini heatwave last week, with the hottest day of the year being recorded locally.
Of course the fruit and vegetables in the garden have mostly been loving the warmth and the sunshine. I seem to remember reading somewhere that tomatoes ripen due to the ambient temperature, rather than the amount of intensity of the direct sunlight. That’s probably right because we’ve been inundated with this year’s crop. Have a look at the main picture above for an idea of the bounty.
The same can be said for all the green beans, the cucumbers and the raspberries, all of which are showing no signs of slowing down. The cucumber glut is so ridiculous now that they’ve been declared the official snack food in our house. They’re even going into stir fries. Not that I’m complaining, it’s just a surprise after the slow start.
The fast-growing catch crops I recently sowed and planted seem to be doing okay for the most part, and the last sequential sowings of summer radishes and baby leaf salad are about ready to start picking. The brassicas are a bit slower, but we might get some Brokali (a kailaan-calabrese cross) or kohl rabi before the first frosts come.
I’m almost at the point of ‘can’t be bothered to pick any more stuff’ with some of it. However, a few new and interesting crops are coming through and catching my eye. The first few tomatillos are really ripe now, even though I’ve been cooking them into things for a few weeks, and they’re finally ready to eat raw. This week is also the first week that we’ve had any cucamelons (AKA mouse melons or Mexican sour gherkins) and that makes for a refreshing change too. There’s one in the picture above. Both are great with the fast-ripening chillies, and we’ve been reaching for the tortillas and taco shells regularly as a result.
Meanwhile, the courgettes and summer squashes seem to be slowing down, although not stopping completely. I can’t say that I’m sad about this because it’s got to the point where the freezer is full and we can’t even give the blasted things away any more – although it was great while it lasted…
Speaking of which, although it’s been a beautiful warm and sunny month, the sun is definitely starting to hang lower in the sky. It’s getting darker a little earlier in the evenings, and the buildings around this tiny urban plot are casting longer and longer shadows over the growing space.
While it feels nothing like Autumn during the day at the moment, some of the other telltale signs of the changing seasons are definitely starting to show. It’s prompted me to sow up a few modules of winter salads and greens, so there’s something to plant out when the triffids of summer have been cleared away and gone to the big compost heap in the
Now all I need to do is keep on top of the watering and cropping, and feeding the tomatoes.
Are you growing a kitchen garden or making the most of an allotment this month? What’s been your best crop during August?