We hope you’re enjoying the summer. There has been some lovely evenings of late, great for pottering on the vegetable patch.
This year’s been are real test though for allotment holders and gardeners of home-grown vegetables. A mixed bag of weather, we’ve seen a dry start to summer with threatening droughts, followed by rain, wind and cool periods. Slugs which were scarce at the beginning of the summer soon came out en masse when the rain arrived.
August too may give us extreme weather. Thunder and lightning storms are all too common. Heavy hail is not unheard of in August either, so be sure to net your vegetables should hail be forecasted.
We hope you enjoy those days though when the sun comes out so you can enjoy collecting well-earned harvests under a warming sun.
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Invest in nutrient-rich brassicas like kale, broccoli and cauliflower to see you through the late autumn to spring period. These vegetables give you a vitamin-rich supply of wholesome food at a time of year when colds and fevers are going around and you have an immediate source of immune-boosting vegetables.
Once your root vegetables have grown 2 or 3 sets of leaves and seedlings are becoming over-crowded it’s time to thin the seedlings out. Leave a space of around 10cm (4in) between plants so they have room to develop. If growing beetroot, save the thinnings for adding to summer salads or using as a garnish.
Cordon tomato varieties will be attaining impressive height by August. When your cordon tomato has reached the height of your greenhouse ‘stop’ the growing tip by pinching it off. This will concentrate the plant’s energy on the side branches producing the trusses of tomatoes. Encourage them to ripen quickly with fruit-enhancing tomato food.
Vegetables that belong to the squash family, the cucurbits, include courgettes, marrow pumpkins and indeed, squash. They all have in common the ability to produce a big carpet of leaves around the developing fruits.
Remove some of the leaves surrounding the fruit with sharp secateurs so the fruit is exposed to the sun. This ripens the fruit faster so you can enjoy harvests sooner.
It’s harvest time for spring-planted onions, shallots and garlics. Harvest garlics when their leaves have turned yellow. In sunny periods keep outside for up to 10 days to let them dry prior to storage and eating. In wet weather store indoors straight after harvest.
Lift onions and shallots when they reach a usable size. The top of the leaves will have collapsed and plants will have gone soft above the bulb.
64 plants worth £16.99 plus soil testing kit worth £12.99 plus 60 Brassica collars worth £6.98 all for just £16.99. Saving you £19.
Plant brassicas now to get them settled in the ground while the soil is warm from the summer. We’ve had a fair bit of rain last month so the soil should be warm and moist, perfect for the roots to establish of young plants which will develop into good, hearty brassicas ready from late autumn and seeing you through to late spring.
Take advantage of our fantastic Ultimate Brassica Collection offer and you can have nutritional greens enough to fill a 5m by 1.5m (16ft by 4ft) area for wholesome harvests right through the winter season.
In the Ultimate Brassica Collection you get...
16 x Kale Afro Green Curled
16x Broccoli Claret late
16x Cabbage Duncan – winter/spring cabbage
16x Cabbage Sennen – spring cabbage
60x pest-defence brassica collars
1x Soil testing kit
Stuffed Cabbage Rolls
Treat yourself to these culinary greats, packed with protein and rich in vitamins. Fantastic alternatives to spring rolls.
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons ginger
- 3 garlic cloves (crushed)
- 4 oz (115g) mushrooms (thinly sliced)
- 1 lb (450g) pork (minced)
- 6 ½ oz (185g) rice
- 1 large carrot (grated)
- 1 shallot (chopped)
- 1 handful fresh coriander (chopped) optional
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon wine vinegar
- 4 tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 large head of cabbage
Preheat oven to 190°C, 375°F.
Cook rice separately.
Heat up vegetable oil and sesame oil in a medium pan. Toss in garlic, ginger and mushrooms and stir for 5 minutes. Take off the heat.
In a bowl add pork, cooked rice, carrot, shallot, coriander, soy sauce and vinegar. Mix with hands. Incorporate ingredients from pan.
Place a cabbage leaf on a baking sheet/ tray. Dollop some pork mix on the stem end of the leaf and roll towards the leaf end. Put the roll, seam downwards, on the sheet. Repeat for each leaves.
In a separate bowl, add water and hoisin sauce. Mix the brush onto each roll.
Cook for 30 minutes. Check pork and cook additionally if needed.
Signs of rot include large brown patches on fruit with speckled heads around the patches, plus lots of wasps flying around fruit.
Frequently assess your tree for brown rot and remove all affected fruit. Place in general refuge.
Fruit which has been pecked by birds is susceptible to rot so use nets and cages where you can to keep birds away.
Send us your Growing Success Marshalls product images to be in with a chance of being one of our 3 lucky winners!
Here at Marshalls we love to see your pictures of all your hard work and the rewarding successes you’ve enjoyed from growing in your plot and garden. Our fruit and vegetable experts, James and Nikki at Marshalls will judge from all your entries.
Whether it’s picture of your fully-functioning allotment, harvesting with the family, a crop you’re particularly proud of or even flowers by your front door, send your photos to us at firstname.lastname@example.org along with your name and address plus which Marshalls variety you grew to be in with a chance to win one of three £50 Marshalls vouchers. See terms and conditions below.
National Allotment Week is an initiative by the National Allotment Society celebrating the hard work of all involved in allotments; in particular volunteers and workers safeguarding allotment sites around the country.
You can get involved by holding allotment events where you are, or attending events such as Barnsdale Garden Summer Vegetable Weekend.
Come to the Shrewsbury Flower Show, Friday and Saturday 11 and 12 August to celebrate food, flowers and music. Not only are there headline acts from The Overtones, London Community Gospel Choir, cook John Torode and gardener Joe Swift, there are flowers and home-grown crops galore.
See prize specimens of impressive crops in the Severn Marquee. You can enter yourself or simply marvel at the hard work of other growers and their super-size or perfect harvests.
Marshalls will be there ready to greet you with a smile, vegetable advice and there’s a chance to win a hamper of gardening goodies.
All entries must be in before the 30th September 2017. File size to be no larger than 5MB. Terms and conditions for gift voucher competition. Winning image will be selected by Marshalls, is non-disputable and will be announced in an up-coming newsletter and on selected social media. Winners will be contacted by our customer service team before the announcement. The prize cannot be supplemented for a cash prize. Winners are not eligible to enter our newsletter competition for 12 months. If the prize is not claimed within a month of announcement the offer shall be withdrawn. We reserve the right to use images sent to us in whatever format we see fit (including the ones that aren’t winners). Employees and family members of Marshalls are not eligible. The promoter reserves the right to cancel or amend the competition and these terms and conditions without notice.