August in Review

Considering it is August, the potager is surprisingly green and lush!

Yet another month has flown by at warp speed. We’re already a week into September, and I’m just now posting last month’s review! As I’ve stated in recent posts, timely rains have continued throughout the summer. Instead of turning hot and dry, it’s been relatively cool and humid for weeks. No complaints here at all! We’ve had a number of beautiful days, with perfect outdoor working and growing conditions. As you can see from the photo, the potager is still filled to capacity, giving us a wonderful variety of food, with lots of late crops just coming on. Some of the vines are beginning to turn brown as they mature their crops. We’ve had loads of luscious melons, and too many cucumbers. The last of the fantastic Earli Dew melons has been picked…15 in all…and those vines have already been removed, along with the first planting of Minnesota Midgets. That’s a good thing, because space was needed for fall plantings of beans, lettuce, spinach and radishes. I am a bit concerned at the yellowing of the pumpkin vines (in the center of the photo) which are “Harvest Princess.” There are some 4-5 lb. pumpkins hidden in there, just beginning to turn orange, so I’m hoping the vines don’t die. No sign of borers or squash bugs on these, although the “Baby Bear” vines did show frass, so I injected the stems with Bt and hopefully that took care of the problem.

There’s been lots of canning and jelly-making during August. There were finally enough tomatoes to can, and beets to pickle. Twelve varieties of jams and jellies were made. Beets, peppers, and cucumbers were pickled. Broccoli was frozen, as well as pepper strips. It was a fun month in the kitchen, with 125 cans/bags preserved.

The potager’s front border has been so pretty all summer!

Hours have been spent deadheading, but it’s all worth it to keep the zinnias, marigolds and other flowers in bloom. The grass never stopped growing, so there’s been lots of edging and mowing to do as well, which normally are not even on the job list in August. But, there hasn’t been much hose dragging, which is normally very time and energy-consuming, so I guess it all balances out.

For those interested in numbers, the potager produced 187.5 pounds of produce in August. That’s a bit above last year’s 177.75 and 2017’s 181.0 so I am pleased, especially considering no big quantity of beans for canning are included in this year’s numbers. We’ve had plenty to eat fresh, but since there’s still plenty of cans left from last year, I swore not to can any this year.

We have our neighborhood party and a garden party in September, so I’m giving each garden a quick go-over, and also hope to FINALLY get the potager paths mulched. I’d almost decided not to even do them this year, because the heavy rains keep washing what mulch is there toward the shed. But, with guests coming I can’t have them tripping over landscape cloth edges, and a new coat of mulch will freshen the entire potager. So, I’d better get shoveling!

About carolee

A former professional herb and lavender grower, now just growing for joy in my new potager. When I'm not in the garden, I'm in the kitchen, writing, or traveling to great gardens.
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7 Responses to August in Review

  1. Lauren says:

    Love your garden- it’s so beautiful and I really enjoy hearing about the varieties you grow!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. March Picker says:

    Your positivity leaps from the screen, Carolee. So much to be thankful for! I’d love to hear more about injecting Bt. I haven’t needed to treat veggies with it yet, but I have a bottle on standby. Is there a blog post of yours I can refer to about the procedure you’ve used successfully?

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    • carolee says:

      I don’t think I’ve posted about it. I just mix the Bt as directed, pull it into a syringe and inject it in 2 or 3 places, at about 4″ intervals above the frass (the beige colored stuff which is the worm’s feces at their entrance point) Hopefully it runs down inside the stem and kills the worm. Be aware that on most vines, there is a closing across the stem at each leaf point, so I try to inject just below 2 or 3 of those. The worm will eventually chew through these closures, but I’m trying to eliminate him as quickly as I can. You are so lucky if you haven’t needed Bt yet. The worms hatch almost daily on my kale, kohlrabi, broccoli, rutabagas, etc. and can make leaves resemble Swiss cheese overnight! At least the Bt injected doesn’t have to be redone after each rain like spraying it on the leaves requires! Best of luck! I’ll be checking out your blog!

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  3. No wonder you haven’t had time to write. Such a busy time for you. Also, heartening to hear how everything rebounded after such a horribly wet spring. Your garden party sounds lovely.

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