Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Organic Vegetable Gardening Tips for the Month of August

Image: Gibby's Garden
We Mainer’s typically refer to August as the “dog days of summer.” It maybe hot and buggy out, but our organic vegetable gardens are at the peak of production. August is the time to head outdoors and harvest the fruit of our labor and give our gardens that final push into the end of the growing season. Here are some ways to extend the season, control garden pests organically and preserve the harvest.

Tips for Extending the Growing Season in Maine

In Maine, we have a short growing season, as do our neighbors in the north. By following a few simple tips, we as gardeners can make the season a little longer and get more from our gardens.

Tip # 1: Pick all Mature Fruits and Vegetables

To extend the growing season, frequently harvest the garden picking all fruits and vegetables as they mature. Some plants, such as string beans, will stop producing if their mature fruits haven’t been harvested. Once mature fruits have been picked, plants can focus their energy on growing and maturing more fruit.

Tip # 2: Pinch Dead and Dying Leaves/Vines

Take a walk through the garden and pinch dead leaves and vines along with any that are beginning to brown or have been ravished by garden pests. Once these are gone, your plants may be smaller, but they’ll be healthier and will again focus on growing and maturing more fruits and vegetables. Also harvest any damaged or diseased fruit.

  • Handpick Garden Pests
  • Spray Affected Plants with Soapy Water
  • Replace/Refill Traps

  • Guide to Organic Pest Control for the Garden

    This guide contains links to posts here on Gibby’s Garden about controlling specific garden pests organically (slugs, Japanese/cucumber beetles, squash bugs etc.) There’s a summary for each post included in the guide and each post lists ways to identify and control the pests the organic way.

    Additional Gardening Tips for the Month of August

    Remove Dead/Dying Plants: As plants begin to die off towards the end of August, pull them from the ground and remove them from the garden all together. Removing dead plants keeps garden pests from over wintering under them, which will lessen their presence in the garden the following growing season.

    Freeze and Preserve the Garden’s Bounty:  Blanch vegetables before freezing them and can and preserve the rest to enjoy through to the next growing season.
    Perhaps one of the best gardening tips for the month of August is to get outside and enjoy the garden in all its glory. Take pictures, jot down where which vegetables were planted and absorb another season of hard work. Breathe in the freshness of the garden, especially after a quenching rain, listen to the birds and crickets chirping with eyes closed and store everything away to remember later when all of Maine’s gardens are buried beneath a foot of white, fluffy snow.

    No comments:

    Post a Comment