Hungry for a harvest in August? Lots of crops are perfect for picking at this time of year, including tomatoes and aubergines.
Don’t forget to take full advantage of garden herbs before they start to die down. If you can’t use them fresh, try storing herbs in ice cubes, as well as preserving harvests in general.
Keep your kitchen stocked with some of our favourite crops to harvest in August, below.
Harvesting sweet, juicy tomatoes is a highlight of the growing year. Pick any that come off easily when lifted and twisted, but don’t leave ripe fruits on the plant – they’ll soften, split and rot.
The ideal time to harvest artichokes is just before the sizeable bud opens to flower. Simply cut off the heads using secateurs, which will encourage the production of further artichokes.
Home-grown cucumbers are so much tastier than anything store-bought. Find out how to harvest cucumbers, in Monty Don’s video guide.
Both second early and maincrop potatoes can be harvested in August. This is also a good time to look out for potato blight – if spotted, harvest immediately. You may still be able to eat the potatoes, but never plant them, and be sure to burn any affected plants.
Plums should be at their best in August and September. Give the fruits a gentle squeeze, and if soft, they’ll be ripe. Enjoy straight from the tree, or in puddings and preserves.
You’ll get the highest yields from aubergines when temperatures are maintained around 21°C. Pick the fruits when they’re shiny. If they’re dull, seeds have likely started to develop and the fruit is past its best.
Aubergine varieties to grow
‘Black Egg’ – a Japanese heirloom variety, tolerant of cooler climates
‘Black Enorma’ – early cropper producing large yields of jet-black fruits
‘Clara’ – an unusual pure-white variety with oval-shaped fruits
‘Fairy Tale’ – a compact variety for containers, fruits are slim with purple and white stripes
‘Melanzana Violetta di Firenze’ – an Italian variety, with ribbed, purple fruits
‘Moneymaker’ – an early cropping variety with large, deep purple fruits