Wednesday, 21 August 2013

What to Do Now?

Is nearing the end of August, and folks are wondering what to plant now?

Herbs to plant now....

Cool season herbs can be planted from seed now..
Please keep in mind that as you seed, you must also keep the soil damp. If you do not, the seeds will either wither and die, or then they will sprout, only to then wither and die.

- dill
- chives
- parsley
- cilantro

Vegetables to plant now from seed....

Please make sure that you are purchasing seed for winter or fall vegetables, not summer/spring ones... as they will not perform as well. Shops should actually not sell the wrong seed at this time of year, is not ethical, but read the packaging, because every so often, some shops will...

-  Cabbage ( Look for Danish Ballhead, Ermosa, January King)
-  Carrots ( Scarlet Nantes, Bolero)
-  Lettuce ( Winter Density, Rouge D'Hiver, Continuity)
-  Peas
-  Radishes
-  Onions (Walla Walla)

Veggies from transplants ...
-  Sprouting broccoli
-  Cauliflower
-  Cabbage
-  Kale

Flower seeds to sow now for next year ....

- Sweet Peas (Lathyrus)
- Columbines (Aquilegia)
- Coneflowers (Echinacea)
- Lavender
- Catmint (Nepeta)
- Hollyhocks ( Alcea)
- Poppies
- Violas and Pansies
- Calendula
- Anise Hyssop ( Agastache)


Other garden tasks to do now...

- Trim your lavender after blooms are spent. Cut only the spent blooms and trim up about an inch or so of the green and soft tips. Do not cut into the woody bits as it may not recover from such a harsh pruning.

- Clean up strawberry plants as they finish fruiting.
Remove runners or pot up the daughter plants if you want to start a new row or two of strawberries. Simply press the small daughter plant into the soil-less potting mix in the pot. Leave runner attached to the mother plant. After the daughter has rooted in, remove the runner and save the potted berries for planting in baskets or beds next year, or plant now into a new bed, new row in your garden.
Remove all dead leaves, finished berries and stems.
Side dress with compost or manure.

- Pinch out the tops of your tomato plants to promote ripening of the remaining fruits.

- Continue to feed your tomato plants with seaweed or kelp.

- Pick your fresh herbs, either hang to dry in a shaded location or freeze in ice cube trays, etc...

- Water your summer and winter squashes well as they are fruiting and growing. Harvest your summer squash ( zucchini ) when they are small and tender. They can be picked, washed, chopped and frozen for later use if they are ripening faster than you can eat them ; )

- Winter squash such as pumpkins, butternuts, Hubbard's, spaghetti's, etc.. will need a month or two yet till they are ripe. They will ready to eat when they are deep in colour and the skin is hard. You can begin to harvest some younger ones with good colour for immediate eating, however, leave the majority on the vine till the skin is hard ( when you push your thumb nail into it, it does not puncture very easily) else they will rot and not store well.

- Your Hallowee'en jack-o-lantern pumpkin needs to colour up more and have a hard skin, too. If you pick it too soon, it will rot and will not make it till Hallowe'en. Leave on the vine till deep in colour and you feel resistance when you push your thumbnail into it. If it pushes thru easily, then it is not ripe and needs more time.

Greek Oregano

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