Even though ladybirds are an attractive sight in any garden they are also a great help to gardeners because they are a natural predator of aphids such as greenfly, blackfly and whitefly. So here's a simple tip to help your plants to survive and thrive - when you see a ladybird in the garden, pick it up and place it in your greenhouse or on your roses, fruit trees or anything you're worried about. It will make itself at home in no time and hungrily devour the pests. And don't forget that you can attract more ladybirds with a Ladybird Tower or a Bug Box.
As many varieties of peas and beans come to fruition, the challenge for gardeners is to replace them with some more productive plants so consider onion sets or garlic. Sowings of Japanese bulb onion Senshyu Semi-Globe Yellow can be made outdoors from mid to late August for harvesting in July. Sowings can also be made of spring cabbage, chinese cabbage, corn salad, winter lettuce and radish.
As you lift your potatoes, why not replace them with Late Season potatoes which will give you a second crop in October. Maincrop potatoes can be lifted as required for immediate use and where they are to be stored, harvest in September or early October. The spread of potato blight can occur if conditions are hot and humid, therefore, to prevent attack it may be worth considering using a fungicide spray. Potato yields can also benefit by being given extra water.
The tips of any climbing shoots of runner beans should be pinched out should they reach the top of the supports.
Small, tender courgettes can be regularly picked by using a sharp knife and carefully cutting them off at the base, protecting sensitive hands from the prickly leaves and stalks by wearing gloves.
Any crops that are in flower, have fruit or pods on them must be watered well. The side-shoots on tomatoes should be pinched out regularly and the leading shoots tied to the supports. A high potash tomato fertiliser feed should be applied weekly and don't let the plants go short of water.
The tips of cucumber side shoots should be pinched out just two leaves beyond any fruit that may be developing. If any old fruit is left on the plants this will affect further flowering so remember to pick cucumbers on a regular basis.