01 Aug AUGUST GARDEN CHECKLIST
Come August, many gardens and gardeners are just bone weary. The summer heat has taken its toll, and in some of the warmer climates, August is the hottest month of the year. To combat the late summer blues, stay strong and start planning for your fall garden — just the thought of cooler weather is often enough to help me hang in there.
Continue updating your garden journal, making notes about heat, temperatures, humidity, and rainfall. Have shadecloth on hand to give your summer veggies a bit of a break from the strong sun — my peppers, in particular, appreciate this gesture. Begin planning for your fall garden — what to plant, and where and when to plant it. Order your garlic for fall planting.
PREPARE AND MAINTAIN
Remove flowers on pumpkin vines and tomato plants to direct the plant’s energy into growing the existing fruit.
Prune tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant to encourage new growth. Your peppers, tomatoes, squash, and eggplant may even appreciate a bit of fertilizer to catch their second wind. Cut basil back to keep it from going to seed.
Remove dead or dying plants — it’s not worth the extra effort to keep them alive this late in the summer. Cooler climates should watch the forecast for early frosts — be prepared to protect plants from damage.
Warmer climates can continue planting and harvesting. All climates can save seeds from the best and healthiest plants in the garden.
SOW AND PLANT INDOORS
Zones 5-6 can start transplants of broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts.
SOW AND PLANT OUTDOORS
Zone 4 can plant fast-growing cool weather lettuces, and plant spinach in cold frames.
Zones 5-6 can plant bush beans and squash for the last time this season.
Zones 7-8 can sow seeds of corn, cucumbers, squash, and dill in the garden. Set out transplants of tomatoes, peppers, basil, and eggplant for fall harvest. Transplant any indoor seedlings of broccoli, cauliflower, collards, chard, and cabbage into the garden, but be prepared to cover them with shade cloth if temps get above 90 degrees.
All climates should harvest anything that is ripe, including beans, chard, cucumbers, eggplant, tomatoes, melons, okra, onions, peppers, squash, and potatoes.