|Â August 2009
August Garden Tasks
(August 15th — September 15th)
Hopefully you are harvesting your tomatoes, beans, squash and corn.Â August is a month that often gets neglected in gardening advice columns.Â So this month, I will extend the garden tasks section into the article below — Get Ready for Fall.
|Get Ready for Fall
August is a hot month of constant watering and heavy harvesting.Â Many think of it as a prelude to the end of the gardening season.Â For those who plan a year-long harvest, it is the beginning of the busy fall season.Â This year, make the intention to help your garden produce more for longer.Â Brave the heat and prepare for fall gardening.
Harvest to Prolong Production
Harvest all vegetables regularly and often.Â Most plants keep producing longer if you remove buds, flowers, fruit and seedpods.Â Tomatoes, beans and summer squash prefer almost daily cropping.Â Keep harvesting the sprouts and flowers of Brassicas (cabbage, broccoli, kale, collards, cauliflowers); they are tasty and nutritious.Â As soon as production wanes, be ruthless and clear the ground.
Collect and Composting
You can never have too much compost or organic mulch.Â Keep separate piles for compost making and mulch collection.Â Collect and scavenge as much organic matter as you can.Â Compost all green material as soon as possible and keep excess brown material (leaves, wood chips, sawdust) for winter mulch.
Organize and Stratify Seeds
Look through your seed packets and order cold weather crops such as winter lettuce, Brassicas, pea greens, beet and turnip greens, spring onions, etc.Â All varieties that grow in the spring can also be planted in September.Â Consider storing excess hot weather seeds (tomatoes, beans, corn, squash) in plastic bags in the freezer for next season.Â Pop seed packets of spinach, lettuce, chard and carrots into the freezer (stratify) for a week before sowing.Â Germinate seeds in damp paper towels and then plant indoors in a cool place.Â This allows you to monitor the number of plants you will grow.
Prepare the Soil
All leafy greens like rich moist soil with plenty of humus and soil life. Even root vegetables (carrots, beets, celeriac, turnips) grown in the fall need plenty of organic matter to prevent hard freezing.Â Add lots of compost and the Bountea with M3 when preparing the soil.
Brassica roots do not connect with mycorrhizae, so it is unnecessary to add Root Web when preparing ground for the cabbage family.Â However, Brassicas also deplete mycorrhizae in the soil; add R
oot Webwhen you are planting a different crop after Brassicas.Shade, Mulch and Protect
Consider covering a cleared portion of your greenhouse with shade cloth to help seedlings and transplants get started.Â Make shade tents with row covers or shade cloth. Get your row covers and plant protectors ready for the first cold snap.Â Mulch the ground as soon as seedlings pop up to keep soil temperatures moderated.Â Build up layers of compost and mulch around plants as they grow.With a little planning and some early preparation, you will still be harvesting lots of vegetables all through the holidays.Â Enjoy.
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