August veggie gardens is the time when things get out of control in the garden. That’s when I surrender to the chaos! Growth is rampant and harvest usually goes into full blast. It’s the moment I look forward to when it’s hard to keep up with harvesting and preserving the crops.
It’s hard to believe that fall is almost here. Below are some things to do in the vegetable garden besides enjoying it (which I hope you are)!
STILL PLANTING SOME CROPS! In all the coming chaos, it is not too late to plant some veggies for a fall garden if you’re not too burned out. I’m direct seeding arugula and radishes outside and starting spinach seeds inside this week. Warm season lettuces that I started 3 weeks ago are now planted out and I already planted out some broccoli from transplants a couple of weeks ago.
I’ve been adjusting my watering schedule depending on the weather. August can be dry and hot or wet and cool so pay attention and either give your garden more or less water depending on the weather.
As plants get older, take off any old, diseased, severely damaged or dead leaves to help keep unwanted fungal diseases or unwanted bugs away. Dispose of trimmings. I never compost any diseased plants.
FUNGAL DISEASES–LOOK at your plants.
I’ve noticed in July after I took off the row covers off the tomatoes, some of them have Early Blight (EB). This is a common problem for tomato plants. If you have yellowing dying leaves starting at the bottom of the tomato plant, it might be EB. For more info on how to ID and control it, go here.
I know with the monsoons (what monsoons?!) and our warm weather, that Powdery Mildew (PM) will start showing up on my squash and cucumbers (and flowers) in August. If it looks like a dusty powder is covering your plants, it may be PM. I already sprayed my plants with Serenade as a preventative. For more info on how to ID it go here. For info on how to control it, go here.
INSECT DAMAGE-LOOK at your plants-some will start to show their age and will weaken and allow insects to
Use the following organic insecticides for insect problems.
Aphids-Use Neem or Azamax. First spray off aphids and then spray one of these organic insecticides on your plants. Avoid hitting bees by spraying at sunset after they go to bed. Also plants can burn if spraying them in the heat of the day.
Squash bugs-Ah, the nemesis of squash growers. No insecticide seems to work so you’ll have to be diligent and get out at least one time a week and LOOK for adults, nymphs and eggs and remove them by hand and put in a bucket of soapy water. If you let them get out of control, they will kill your plants.
These bugs gone bye bye by now-hooray!
Squash vine borer-It’s gone by now so no worries but I used row cover early in the season to protect my plants from this bug.
Beet Leafhopper-It left when the monsoons came, so you are probably safe with your tomatoes. I keep my tomato plants covered from May thru the beginning of the monsoons in July and uncover them then.