California gardeners are busy harvesting summer vegetables in August, but it's
also the time to start planning for a fall garden.
Your Summer Vegetables: Even if you don't have a green thumb, by giving only
scant attention (but plenty of water) to zucchini, squash and tomato plants you
will be rewarded with an almost continuous supply of vegetables during August.
Make sure you pick vegetables regularly to stimulate more growth so the plants
continue to produce through the fall.
Your Fall and Winter Vegetables: It's too late to plant summer crops, but it
is time to plant seeds or starter plants that produce cool-season vegetables
such as green onions, carrots, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, mustard, radishes
and beets. The seeds and young plants will benefit from August's warm soil. If
planting seeds in flats, put the flats in partial shade to avoid the direct
August heat. Transplant the seedlings into the garden when they are about 4
drought tolerant and native plants need plenty of water in the heat of summer.
Give them a good soak at least twice a week. Potted plants are especially
susceptible to the ravages of heat. If they still wilt after daily watering,
consider moving the pots to shade or partial shade locations until the weather
cools. Water in the early morning hours to reduce evaporation and water longer
so the water has a chance to travel deeper into the soil. Cover your soil with
a layer of mulch to better hold in moisture.
droopy flowers and hips. Prune roses only lightly--enough to stimulate new
flower growth into the fall. Water regularly.
Ready to Harvest Onions: Home grown onions have a stronger flavor than the onions
you'll find at the store. A rule of thumb is to stop watering bulb onions when
the foliage begins to dry. When most of the foliage has wilted and fallen over,
bend the rest down to the ground and wait another two weeks before harvesting.
Once harvested, let them sit in the sun for a day. Spread them out in a dry,
non-sunny location for two more weeks. This will ensure that the outer layers
are free from moisture and prevent black fungus from growing on the onions.
Fruit From Predators: Put bird netting on fruit trees two or three weeks before
the fruit begins to ripen. This will keep birds from feasting on the tree
fruit. Use rocks or bricks to hold down the netting so birds, rabbits or squirrels
can't accidently get trapped inside.
For Color and Fragrance: August is a good time to plant bushes and trees that add
color and fragrance to your garden just about year round. For a dash of color,
consider begonia, impatiens, oleander, Chinese hibiscus and firebush. For
fragrance, plant gardenias, jasmine and lilac.
Labels: cool weather vegetables, keep birds from eating fruit, Southern California, watering garden in summer, What to plant in August, when to harvest onions