Gardening into Summer

It’s August and nearly time for my husband to go back to school (he’s an elementary teacher) and yet we probably have 2-3 more months of summer like weather.  I lived in South Dakota for five years for college (3 yrs for undergrad + 2 postgrad) and the seasons are more defined there than they are here in California.  What that means is that our garden’s growing season is much longer here.  I attended a year-round gardening workshop last year with my mom with plans to garden year-round and this year I’m doing it.  I’ve got all of the seeds and started some of my late-summer plantings and will start my seedlings shortly.  It’s still very hot here in the foothills (100+ lately), so I’m trying to figure out the best place to keep my seedlings outside where they won’t die of heatstroke.  I’m starting broccoli and cauliflower seeds, so we’ll see how that works out as it’s my first time with those.  The deer have started coming around and thankfully our automatic deer sprinklers have pushed them off.  I just found a giant hornworm on my banana peppers next to my house. :(  I hate these culprits, but I guess they have to eat, too!

Our garden, August 2013

Our garden, August 2013

Our garden is coming along nicely for the most part.  We’ve been harvesting tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, tomatillos, squash and okra so far.  I should be able to pick some beans pretty soon and I’m loving watching the corn grow.

Macro corn

Macro corn

view from above

view from above

Our garden August 2013

Our garden August 2013

Our garden August 2013

Our garden August 2013

I got in some new plantings the other day with some winter squash, pumpkins and corn.  My pumpkins and squash are a little late to be planted, but I should still be able to harvest some.  The key to planting like this is to look at your estimated first frost date and counting back to see how many days you have until then and looking at the seed packet (it generally tells you how many days until your first harvest) and planting accordingly.  My cold weather crops go in differently as they prefer the cooler weather.

New Plantings

New Plantings

garden 8-11-3 4

Weeding and battling vermin seem to be constant battles, but it comes with the territory.  I hope the year-round gardening thing works out as this is my first time attempting it.  I just organized all of my seeds by when to plant them so that I can keep more up-to-date on that.  If you don’t plant all at once (like say with tomatoes), you will have a longer growing season, as in putting in plantings every couple of weeks or so.  I have not done this to full effect yet, but I sure hope to!  This is my second year having a garden of this size so there are a lot of lessons to be learned.  It’s also been abnormally hot here (as evidenced by some of my plants) and that sure doesn’t make me want to go out and work in the garden.  It is usually in the 100′s in July and August here, but not for long periods of time like it has been.  We usually have a bit of a respite between heat waves.  It seems like it has just been a long, terrible heatwave all summer long. My plants sure don’t like it as it stresses them out, but at least these volunteer sunflowers do. :)

Macro sunflower and bee

Macro sunflower and bee

Happy gardening!

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Comments

  1. says

    What a beautiful garden! I always think I would love to grow one, but alas, it hasn’t risen to the top and I really can’t stand to be outside here in TX during the summer… :( BTW, where did you go to school? My hubby is from Rapid City and went to SDSU!

    • says

      I know what you mean about not wanting to be outside in the heat! I pretty much only go out there in the mornings and evenings. I have an automatic irrigation system so I don’t need to be out there much. I always seem to meet people from SD out and abouf, which is funny because it’s not a big state population wise. I went to SGU and BHSU. I have many great friends there and try to visit often.

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