Tuesday, 4 August 2015

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 second or third day. However, do not water too often or you will have bland peppers rather than hot and spicy ones! 

- Harvest, harvest, harvest! The more you pick, the more they produce. This applies to most everything!

- Keep an eye on your corn.. when the tassles start to go brown, they are ready to go! 

Spicy Pickled Beans
-  Freeze, can, ferment or pickle everything that you are not eating fresh!

- When some of your onions tops start to topple at the base, push the other tops over, too. Leave for a week or so and do not water! Then lift and lay out to cure.

Do this even if you wish they were bigger ... Once those tops start to bend, they are done growing. If left in the ground, they will just rot and go to waste.

* Not all onions are storage onions! If you are growing Walla Walla's, other sweet onions, or red onions, chances are they will not keep well. Use them daily, as needed for fresh eating. Do not wait for that one big harvest!   

- Harvest and dry herbs for winter

- Order garlic and spring flowering bulbs for fall planting! Yes, now!

It will be too late to get your tulips, daffodils, alliums, and other spring flowering bulbs in the spring when you see them flowering everywhere. If you order from mail order, do it now.  

- Clear out any veggies, herbs, plants that are burnt out, finished, bolting, etc... they just become bug attractors! 

 Just look at the size of this volunteer sunflower head! 

- As the petals die off your sunflowers, cut off the heads and set them out to cure.

I hang mine on the fence in fall and winter for the birds to enjoy!

What to plant from seed ... before mid month...

- Lettuce
- Radishes
- Spinach
- Chinese greens like Gai Lan, Bok Choy, etc.. 
- Arugula
- Peas
- Cilantro
- Onions (walla walla)
- Kale
- Kohlrabi
- Scallions

What to plant from transplants mid to end month...

- Kale
- Brussels sprouts
- Cabbage
- Sprouting Broccoli
- Spinach

Eggplant varieties this year!

What Veggies To Plant In The Middle Of Summer?

Wondering what to plant in that empty garlic bed or in those empty pockets where the broccoli bolted? Concerned that there may not be ...