August garden to-do list

As we wrap up the month of July, there is limited time to plant seeds for a Fall harvest. I am quickly taking inventory of my garden and making a to-do list for this final week of July and early August to ensure that I make the most of this precious dirt.

This weekend, strap on those gloves and do this:

  • Clear out any remaining crops that are harvested, dead, or no longer producing food you want to eat. For me, this will be broccoli, spring kale, and spring carrots.
  • Plant seeds for harvest in Fall (September and October). My favorites: carrots, radishes, salad greens, kale, turnips, lettuce, spinach, arugula, beets, swiss chard, cilantro, bok choy, and broccoli (best as transplant).
  • Weed, with lots of sunshine and hopefully lots of watering, weeds are bursting. Keep your garden clear of weeds to make room for these new sprouts.
  • Thin your new sprouts (hopefully you already put some seeds in the ground earlier this month, if not, there is still time). DSC_0015
  • Fertilize if necessary (it is a good idea to fertilize your new beet sprouts).
  • WATER
  • HARVEST! My carrots, beans, cucumbers, zucchini, and summer squash are growing like crazy. Don’t miss their peek times for picking and enjoy those fresh summer flavors.DSC_0790
  • Tend to your tomato plants. Prune if necessary and harvest.
  • Extra: start thinking about flowers you want next spring/summer. You will want to buy bulbs to get into the ground in September/ October. DSC_0002

You will not regret dedicating this time to the garden when you have fresh veggies into the Fall!

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Growing peas

Snap peas, snow peas, pole (climbing) or bush (non climbing)…it can be a little confusing. First, decide what types of peas you want to plant – snap, snow, or another type.

Snap peas – also known as “sugar snap peas” are thicker, more crunchy, and sweeter than snow peas.

Snow peas – these are the peas you have likely experienced in a Chinese stir fry. They are flatter than snap peas with smaller pea pods inside.

Next, decide if you want to grow the pole variety (they climb) or bush (non climbing). I prefer pole because you can get more crop using less square footage. However, you do need to build a simple structure for the peas to climb.

Climbing structure for growing peas

What you need:

  • Lumber (1×4) to build a small bed
  • Lumber (2×2) to build the frame – you can make it whatever height you would like, I would suggest around 4-5 feet
  • 2 poles of bamboo – we laid these across the bed horizontally to thread the twine from top to bottom
  • Twine

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There are several ways to build a growing structure for pole beans, just google it. As always do whatever is best for your yard and will enable the peas to climb.

Here is an example of a more simple climbing structure – just 3 bamboo poles and some twine. You can string the twine horizontally around the triangle structure for the peas to grow up. Plant the pea seeds in the small trenches between each pole end.

Side note: you can use this same climbing structure for sweet pea flowers.

Important note: Be sure to prepare your soil before adding the bamboo poles and threading the twine.

Planting pea seeds

Now that your structure is built and your soil is ready, plant pea seeds on each side of the bamboo poles to align with the twine. So as soon as those peas pop up, they can start to climb straight onto the twine.

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And of course, you can always grow peas without building a climbing structure, just buy the non climbing (bush) variety.

Growing your own peas is definitely a money saver…but most of the time you end up eating them straight off the vine before they can even make it into the house. Enjoy!