August Depends on which you like most, summer crops or winter crops. Plant more summer crops you can’t get enough of! If you love winter crops, get a head start! Improve your soil as plants finish, areas become available. Midmonth start cool season SEEDS – celery, Brassicas: cabbage, brocs, Brussels sprouts, collards, cauliflower, kales, are good – or wait until September, Labor Day Weekend is perfect! Make notes about your summer crops in your garden journal.
September First fall planting month, Labor Day weekend or bust! Seeds are fun, transplants produce sooner. Plant Sweet Peas for Christmas bloom!
October Transplants of all fall crops, but specially of cabbages and artichokes. Cut Strawberry runners off to chill for Nov planting.
November Seeds of onions for slicing. Wildflowers from seed (don’t let the bed dry out). Strawberries in no later than Nov 5. Transplants of winter veggies.
December is winter’s June! Crops are starting to come in, it’s maintenance time!
Eight Fun August Garden Projects!
- Save your very best summer seeds
- Re/design your fall garden layout, checking your garden notes from last winter
- Get seeds for winter planting
- Build raised beds with wire protection to prevent gopher losses
- Prepare your soil – add manures, compost, appropriate amendments
- Remove funky garden debris, compost healthy green waste
- Do greenhouse winter maintenance, build a greenhouse for winter production
- Make wonderful preserves, dehydrate, freeze, harvest seeds, make herbed oil & vinegar gifts, powdered herbs, pesto ‘ice’ cubes, dill pickles, candles, organic cosmetics!
Now through October is the special time to take stock of your accomplishments, jot journal entries of what worked well, didn’t, how much you want to plant next spring, reminders what you would like to do differently or try next year. Enter a reminder on your calendar to review these notes, say next Feb/March, when you will be planning your 2011 summer garden, buying spring seeds, getting starts going in the greenhouse!
Plant more of faster growing summer crops you love, like beans – you will just have a shorter harvest time. If you love winter crops, improve your soil as plants finish. As areas become available, plant seeds midmonth, or wait until Labor Day weekend to plant! If you don’t have enough room yet, establish a little nursery in an open area to plant celery, your Brassicas: cabbage, brocs, Brussels sprouts, collards cauliflower, kales – to later transplant into other garden areas, or spread apart, late September and October. Or start in containers for later transplanting. If you don’t have the time to tend them, simply get transplants at the nursery when you want them. However, the beauty of planting from seed is you can get the varieties you want, you can experiment with new varieties! A seed catalog is a lovely and dangerous thing.
Plant peas at the base of your dying beans. When you take your beans out, clip them off, leaving the roots, with the Nitrogen nodules legumes make, in the soil! At the end of August, plant lettuces in shadier spots behind plants that will protect them during the September heat, but who will soon be done, allowing your lettuces full sun when it is cooler later on. Remember, September can be HOT.