Garden Maintenance late-August

Hello gardeners,

Back to school is in the air, and it feels like summer is drawing to a close. I even saw my first red maple leaves yesterday!

Your garden, however has at least another 2 months of good growing left in it! As long as you keep up with the watering and weeding, you should get a lovely fall harvest of all the vegetables you replanted.

If you haven’t had a chance to replant yet, there is still time! You can even just empty out a couple of squares, top up with a bunch of compost and broadcast lettuce, beet and carrot seeds (one type per square). Water, water, water and as the sprouts come up, thin the little seedlings for your mixed-green salads until you have the desired spacing between plants. 4 per square for lettuce, 9 per square for beets, 16 per square for carrots. Once your thinning is complete, mulch to preserve moisture, stabilize soil temperature and keep the weeds down.

This summer has been so hot and dry, it has been particularly difficult for diseases. Especially powdery mildew, and other leaf bacteria and fungus. Be sure to remove any diseased or damaged leaves from the garden. Your best defence against these types of invasions is to keep your garden free of debris, and to stop the spread by removing affected plant parts. A baking soda spray (1 tablespoon Baking soda, 1 teaspoon oil, 1/2 teaspoon dish soap in a gallon of water) works wonders to protect the plants.

Your eggplants and peppers should be just about ready to eat. The more you harvest, the more fruit you can expect from your plants. Peppers can be harvested at anytime, green, or once they have changed colour. Eggplants can be picked at a variety of sizes. You should pick them before they start to go from shiny to mat. It has been a tough year for cucumber and zucchini, but if you managed to keep yours going, the smaller you pick the fruit, the tastier it is, and the more you pick the more you get. Good luck!

Please let me know if you have any gardening questions.

Tereska Gesing

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