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Garden Tips for August

Tomato San Marzano

August is a month of endings and beginnings in the kitchen garden. In nature, change is about. Summer will begin to fade in many gardens during August giving way to autumn and cool weather. In hot summer regions, heat may continue for several more weeks then give way to warm but not cool temperatures. In these regions the “second spring” garden will come on; in the second spring garden you can grow again all of the crops you planted in spring but instead of starting seeds indoors you can direct sow seed in the garden.

August Kitchen Garden Almanac

Use the number of days in your garden’s growing season to determine which crops still have enough season left to mature to harvest. The growing season is the number of days between the last frost in spring and the first frost in autumn. Seeds that go into the ground now need time to germinate and grow. If there are 60 to 90 days of temperatures greater than 70°F (21°C), you have a lot of growing season left for warm-weather crops. If temperatures will drop into the 60s or 50sF in the next 60 to 90 days, you should plant cool-season crops now. Read more>>

Corn harvest Summer Vegetable Garden Harvest Tips

Pick summer vegetables when they are young and tender—bigger is not tastier. Check crops daily. Whenever possible eat summer vegetables the day you pick them. Here’s a quick guide for picking summer vegetables at the peak of flavor: Read more>>>

Tomato ripening on vine How to Ripen Tomatoes on the Vine

Standard-sized tomatoes take 20 to 30 days from blossom set to reach full size–commonly called “mature green”; they take another 20 to 30 days to ripen and change color. A tomato can be picked when it begins to change color–from green to yellow, orange, pink, or red depending upon the cultivar. Read more>>>

Peppers nearing harvest Pepper Harvest Tips

Sweet peppers can be picked when immature or full size, green or red. Hot peppers can be picked at any time for fresh use; hot peppers for drying or pickling should be picked when fully ripe. Pick all peppers before the first light frost. Most peppers will eventually turn red if left on the vine; some types turn orange, yellow, or brown-purple. Read more>>>

beans with shallots How to Quick Cook and Serve Snap Beans

Fresh, tender snap beans have a delicate flavor that is delicious eaten raw or just lightly cooked. Both the immature seeds and seed pods are edible. Green beans are snap beans, but snap beans can also be yellow, purple, and splotched in multiple colors. Here’s a guide to preparing and cooking all of your summer bean harvests including six fast ways to serve delicious green beans tonight. Read more>>

Rainer cherries Mid-Summer Fruit Calendar and Tips

Fruits are ripening now. Keep fruit trees and vines thoroughly watered; avoid letting plants dry out, especially newly planted fruits and fruits growing in containers. Scavenging birds and insects will be looking for an opening as fruits ripen. Read more>>>

Spring Coming Soon in the Southern Hemisphere

Days will start to warm in August in the southern hemisphere as winter comes to an end. This is the time to begin planning the spring and summer garden and even starting some crops indoors and out. But keep in mind there may still be some chilly days in the colder regions.  Read more>>>

 

Written by Stephen Albert

Stephen Albert is a horticulturist, master gardener, and certified nurseryman who has taught at the University of California for more than 25 years. He holds graduate degrees from the University of California and the University of Iowa. His books include Vegetable Garden Grower’s Guide, Vegetable Garden Almanac & Planner, Tomato Grower’s Answer Book, and Kitchen Garden Grower’s Guide. His Vegetable Garden Grower’s Masterclass is available online. Harvesttotable.com has more than 10 million visitors each year.

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  1. Would you be able to identify this melon?
    Dark green like a black diamond, round, wrinkled skin, looks like it may have a white flesh. Evidently the seed for this melon was in the pack I bought for cantaloupe late last winter.

    • Your description sounds like an acorn squash–the acorn is a winter squash ready for harvest about 85 days after germination.

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