The Next Three Months….
August is keeping your soil water absorbent, sidedressing, harvesting, plant a last round of summer favorites, start cool-season seedlings, time to preserve your abundance for winter eating, to take stock and make notes for next year’s summer planting!
September is exciting because it is the first month to plant fall veggies! Do your final harvesting, preserving, clean up, chop and compost, and plant on Labor Day weekend!
October is considered by many to be the best planting month of the year!! Time to take up strawberry daughters (runners) for November planting, clean up to break pest and disease cycles, plant your winter veggies, plant more veggies if you started in September!
…but specially in August:
Plant another round of your summer favs if you want, but keep in mind that Sep/Oct are the best fall planting months, so check those dates to maturity! The sooner you start your winter plants, the faster start they have, the sooner you have winter veggies. Things get slower as it gets cooler, so a head start makes sense. And, heat lovers started now will have a shorter harvest period. Just saying.
Watering: Keep your veggies well watered, daily on extra hot days. Seedlings may need water 2 to 3 times a day! Keep strawberries moist or they will stop producing. It tomatoes dry out, they drop their blossoms. Water short rooted plants, beans, lettuces, cukes, more frequently. They like lots of water, steady water!
Mulch short rooted plants, beans, cukes, lettuces and strawberries, and deeper rooted chard, to keep them cool and moist. More about summer mulching.
Feeding: Get out your fish emulsion, get some manures, and feed your plants! Foliar feed with compost, manure, worm casting tea. Epsom salts your peppers. Seabird guano (NOT bat guano) keeps plants flowering and producing! See about aspirin in my upcoming 8.11.11 post!
Harvest like crazy! Be thorough to keep your crop coming, and be gentle to keep your plants undamaged so they aren’t open to pests and diseases. Be specially careful around your trellised or caged cuke’s brittle leaves. You can hear them snap if you push against them too much or accidentally back into them.
Save seeds from your very best plants!
Pests and Diseases: Stay with your prevention programs, and clear away debris, spent or unhealthy plants. Mini tip: Keep a 5 gal bucket, or wheel barrow, near you to collect debris as you work.
Prep your fall beds!
- Start making compost for fall planting. Chop into small pieces for faster decomposition.
- Set safe spots aside for seedling nurseries.
- Install gopher wire barriers in your new planting beds, redo an old bed.
- Incorporate manures, worm castings, and already-made compost into your soil.
- Top with mulch, maybe straw mixed with nitrogen rich alfalfa, to keep feeding your soil and keep the under layer moist.
Get the best varieties of seeds for starts now for Sep/Oct planting, or to put in the ground then!
Let strawberry runners grow now.
Enjoy your harvests! Preserve or Give Away your bounty!