August plantings

Sowing in August will maximise yields from your garden. Early August is a good time to plant turnips, wild rocket, chard and perpetual spinach, Little Gem lettuce, spring cabbage and oriental leaves. Day lengths are declining now, so timing is important. Your altitude and micro-climate have a bearing, and you are also gambling how warm the autumn will be. Generally the beginning of the month is best to sow.

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Good watering is a precise art and one worth mastering, as the right amount of water makes a big difference to crop growth.  Above all, avoid over-watering, especially on germinating seeds and seedlings. Factors to consider are: how warm is it, what is your soil, and what plant are you watering?

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French Beans

Whatever time of year you go to a restaurant, there seem to be French beans on the plate somewhere. To me they taste best fresh from the plant, full of natural sugars and minerals.

French beans like it warm and moist, the soil really has to be at full summer heat for them to flourish. Planting in late May or early June is best, as they grow away strongly and shrug off the slugs. Planting earlier than this so often ends in disappointment.

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