Showing posts from August, 2015

Sunflowers ~ They're For the Birds

Sunflowers are the loveliest, brightest, and sunniest of all the late summer bloomers.

Beacons of happiness and indicators of harvest. Their time signifies yet another garden season well done ... and cooler temperatures and back-to-school time fast approaching.

This year I grew only one variety, a new one from Renee's Garden Seeds, called 'The Birds & The Bees'.  This selection being a no-brainer for me, as an organic kitchen gardener who plants to entice both the birds, and the bees, to my happy, healthy yard and garden!

The bees part comes into play while the flowers are blooming, still open, full of pollen and makes for super happy bees all summer long!

The birds part is just about to start, comes into play real soon, as we harvest these babies for birdseed!  

So... What to do with the sunflowers when they look like this?

Here is how to go about saving them for the birds ....

How do you know when to pick them? When to harvest for all those lovely hidden gems?


How To Sow Seeds in Summer

Time to seed your fall and winter veggies ... but how to keep those wee little seeds moist enough to germinate in all this heat? As the water simply beads on top of your super dry garden beds?

How to successfully seed in times of drought ... or in the dog days of summer..  

1. Soak your seeds for about 12 hours prior to planting. This one step will speed up the germination time by several days!

Some seeds are tougher than others, so can be left for longer, like these Walla Walla onions. Radishes and lettuce may need less time.

2. Find a spot where your new seeds can go.  Any small pockets of space will do.

This is the hardest part in summer time, as often your veggies are just hitting their stride and not ready to be harvested yet.

For mid-summer sowing (July), use the spots where you had your spinach, or lettuce, or radishes before they bolted in the heat. I had this large area full of volunteer potatoes that were ready to go, perfect for my fall and winter garden seeding.

For lat…

August Garden Ramblings

August is always such a crazy busy and fun time in the garden. Harvest has begun, fall planting is in swing, and garden clean up is just ahead.

Sunflowers are thriving in all this heat ...  and so are the beans, corn, squash, peppers, eggplants, tomatoes and herbs. 

What to do this month ...

- Deep water all veggies once or twice a week. Drip tubes or weeping hoses are best for this, as they water slowly but deeply, getting the water to the roots where it is most helpful. If you are hand watering, water the soil, not the plant, and water deeply at each plants base. 

- At mid to end month, snap the tops of the vining (indeterminate) tomato plants to force them into ripening the existing fruits, rather than putting energy into producing more flowers or fruits that may not have time to ripen.

- Wet down the floor of the greenhouse in the morning to keep it cooler during these dogs days of summer.

- Peppers may start to need more water now as the roots fill up the pots, water every se…