Fruit and veg

Keep plants well-watered and water regularly to avoid stress that leads to malformed fruit

Once fruit forms feed regularly with a liquid feed

Remove trusses below tomato fruit to increase air and light


Strawberries are producing new runners that can be pinned then transplanted in a few weeks’ time for next year

When runner beans reach the top of their support pinch out the tops to ensure they remain pickable

Pinch out the tops of aubergine and tomato plants once fruit has established so energy can be focussed on ripening the fruit

Remove spent canes from raspberries by cutting at base and tie in new growth

Summer prune apple and pear trees if they’re grown in cordons, espaliers or fans but leave trees and bushes alone until winter

Prune stone fruit trees, removing crossovers to leave an open goblet structure

Pests Watch out for tomato and potato blight and remove and destroy any affected leaves that you find

Keep checking undersides of brassica leaves for bright yellow eggs of cabbage white butterfly

Keep weeding to reduce competition for nutrients and water your produce needs


Net berries to prevent birds and squirrels taking the harvest, using 4cm netting to reduce the possibility of birds getting caught up, keeping it taut and marking it with old CDs

Keep checking for aphids and spray affected plants with mix of washing up liquid and water

Keep eyes peeled for carrot fly, particularly following thinning out and picking

Look out for blossom end rot (black and sunken at end of fruits) on tomatoes and aubergines, a result of irregular watering so remove affected fruit and correct the watering regime

After harvesting an area consider letting chickens loose on an area with the brief to dispatch slugs and snails on sight

To sow

Thinking of winter and next spring, sow turnips, spring cabbage, lettuce, rocket, parsley and winter onions, spring onions, winter salads such as mizuna and lamb’s lettuce

Last chance to sow fast maturing salad ingredients such as rocket, radish, sorrel, lettuce, chicory and fennel

To harvest

Florence fennel, beetroot, chard, sweetcorn, French and runner beans, globe artichokes, courgettes, peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, aubergine, chicory, carrots, second early and maincrop potatoes, fruit trees


Watch for the tops of onion, shallots and garlic leaves to bow over and then lift them to dry thoroughly before stringing and storing

Cut herbs, dry or freeze and store for use throughout the winter


Water and feed plants in containers to keep them flowering strongly into autumn

Sweetpeas need picking so that they continue flowering. Remove any pods that develop so that energy can be focussed on the flowers.

Stake taller plants to prevent damage from rain and wind

Keep deadheading flowers to keep blooms coming

Cut wildflower meadows to spread seed

Lavender will stay in a better shape if you trim it back after flowering has finished

Take cuttings as desired

Prune summer flowering bedding

Sow next year’s hardy annuals direct into beds

Keep deadheading, watering and feeding hanging baskets to prolong their life


Consider keeping some seed heads as food for birds and as aesthetically pleasing features

Think about, choose and plant your spring flowering bulbs


Top up ponds as required with rainwater

Remove water lily leaves and flowers that are dying off

Thin out pond plants if necessary

Keep skimming algae and unwanted weed out of pond with a net, a stick or rake

Keep bird baths clean and full


Don’t be concerned if birds are quitter and fewer, they are moulting which makes them feel lethargic but also makes them more vulnerable, so they tend to stay hidden

Dig in green manure if you’ve grown it

Trim hedges now that the birds have fledged Raise the mower blade height to allow grass a little more length to counter dry weather

Bats less than two months old begin to catch their own food so it is possible to see them swooping on insects at dusk

Take photos of what’s worked and what hasn’t so that when you have more time in winter you can consider how your summer planting and growing was as you start planning again

Take time to enjoy the cacophony of colours, scents and flavours of everything you’ve grown!


This article first appeared in Smallholder magazine. Subscribe here, call 01778 392011, email or buy a copy from your local newsagent.