Monday, August 23, 2010

August Groundwork

It's time to prepare your garden beds for fall! In late August and early September a new planting season begins, be ready to sow cool weather vegetables. Begin by looking through seed catalogs for inspiration, there's an amazing variety of of vegetables available. Last fall I planted Royal Oak leaf lettuce and Red Sails, both were an amazing addition to my garden and salad bowl. Experiment with purple broccoli or sow seeds of white radishes. Remember to rotate your vegetables to different locations in your garden from year to year. If you want a continuous supply of crops, sow seeds every two weeks during the planting season. Thin seedlings (and toss into your salad) when the plants have two to four leaves, leaving room for the growing plant. Consider planting enough of your favorite, tried and true veggies to share, bottle or barter!

Things to do in August

Prepare fall beds, spread 4-6 inches of compost or well-aged manure on top of soil. Turn in to a depth of 12 to 18 inches.
Deadhead flowers and harvest vegetables to promote continued production. Remove spent and dried plants that didn't make it through the summer.

Sow seeds for a second crop of summer squash, sweet corn, cucumbers, snap beans and carrots.

After August 15th you may begin to sow fall vegetables (see planting calendar ). Carefully monitor your watering.

Fertilize citrus trees a with nitrogen rich citrus feed, water at a depth of 3 feet at the trees outer canopy.

Plant Sweet Corn by the end of August, choose varieties that mature within 65 to 80 days. Amend soil with organic matter(nitrogen) and keep seeds moist until sprouting.
Trim back tomato plants by 1/3 to encourage new growth as weather cools.

Wait for the cool Autumn breeze!