Seed Club - August


Whether you’re new to growing from seed or more experienced, our Seed Club offers you great deals on seeds, timely reminders and practical seed-sowing advice. Every month, Sally Nex will be guiding you through the key sowing and growing jobs.


Sometimes it seems like the garden is holding its breath in August, caught between summer's excitement and the frantic race that is autumn. But the kids are home from school, I've got some time off and the last thing I want to look at is a saggy, tired garden. So I'm dispensing a few timely haircuts to reboot the flowers, late-sown seedlings to revitalise veg beds and a little liquid encouragement by way of tomato feed, so it'll all be looking good for a few weeks yet.

Sally Nex


Veg jobs for August

Veg jobs

  • Stake aubergines as they grow, tying them in to a sturdy cane for support as fruits get heavier
  • Water tomatoes carefully as fruits start swelling. Keep soil moisture levels as even as possible, but don't overdo it or you risk watery, flavourless toms
  • Watch out for red spider mite on cucumbers – you'll see mottled leaves and tell-tale webbing on the leaves. Remove infested foliage and mist to keep humidity high; if you still have trouble unleash the biological control Phytoseiulus
  • Pick red-veined young beetroot leaves while you're waiting for the roots to swell for an extra harvest of unusual, richly-flavoured salad ingredients
  • Let one plant of your favourite lettuce variety bolt and flower so you can collect the seed to save in a paper envelope and sow next year
  • If you're going away on holiday, move container-grown veg into a shady corner so they won't suffer so much if it turns hot, and set up an automatic watering system connected to the mains via a timer
  • Remove any large leaves shading pumpkin fruits as you want every last drop of sunshine on the skins at this time of year to allow them to ripen to rich gold
  • Water flowering runner and French beans if the weather is dry to make sure they set plenty of pods
  • Freeze surplus bean crops but don't process them first: just blanch for a couple of minutes in fast-boiling water, dunk in iced water to stop the cooking process and freeze whole. Then top and tail and slice from frozen as needed
  • Lift maincrop carrots, cut back foliage, brush off excess soil and store in boxes of damp sand somewhere cool, dark but frost free for eating later in winter


Seed Club veg offers

Seed Club Snap up bargains at Thompson and Morgan:


Flower jobs for August

Flower jobs

  • Whip weeds out of containers the moment they appear so flower displays stay vibrant and plants don't have to compete for nutrients and moisture
  • Let a few seedpods stay on your sweet pea plants long enough to dry to a crispy brown so you can  collect the seeds to sow next spring
  • Pick flowers for cutting first thing in the morning, when they're full of moisture and at their most fresh and vibrant: they'll last far longer in the vase
  • Stake taller varieties of zinnia with a sturdy cane, tying string tightly around the support but loosely around the plants to keep stems undamaged and straight
  • When picking or dead-heading, always cut to the next pair of buds down: that way new shoots will spring from the joint to make another flush of flowers
  • Clear spent early flowerers and dig over the ground, adding fresh compost and a handful or two of bonemeal ready for sowing again next month
  • As soon as you spot the serrated heart-shaped leaves of self-sown honesty seedlings, dig the strongest up carefully with as much root as possible and move them to where you want them to flower next year
  • Pick architectural seedpods from poppies and Nigella (love-in-a-mist) once they turn papery brown to bring indoors. They'll last all winter in dried flower arrangements, and look particularly lovely sprayed silver for Christmas
  • Sow Nemophila seeds direct along the edges of beds now and they'll overwinter as young plants – giving you frothy borders of baby-blue flowers extra-early next year
  • Keep feeding container and hanging baskets flowers with high-potassium liquid tomato feed once a week to encourage blooms for as long as possible



Seed Club flower offers

Seed Club Save money at Thompson and Morgan:


Next month

Sally Nex

Seed Club - jobs for September

Autumn is here and I'm channelling my inner squirrel, storing my summer bounty to see us through winter. I'll be getting a head start on next year, too, with a sowing of hardy annuals for the first new season's flowers, plus autumn-sown onions and broad peas for early pickings in spring. There's no rest for the green-fingered


Seed Club factsheets

Download your handy, printable factsheets, giving you the know-how to grow vigorous and healthy crops from seed. (The factsheets, in PDF format, open in a new window.)


View the full range of offers

Browse the full range of seed collection, tools and accessories on offer by visiting the Seed Club page on the Thompson and Morgan.


More advice on seed sowing

Seed sowing projects on Seeding sowing projects and videos
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