With the hot temperatures hanging around through August, it is still a good idea to divide your projects and work outside in the early morning and/or evening hours. If you want to grow some vegetables this fall, now is the time to prepare for it. Here are some ideas of things to do this month.
Tend your vegetable garden. Remove all spent vegetable plants by cutting them off at ground level. This will protect the soil from disturbance and leave the root system in the ground for the soil microbes to feed on. If needed, add some worm castings over the entire garden area to enrich and cover the soil. When planting, inoculate the hole with earthworm castings and a granular mycorrhizal mixture. For bean and pea plants, inoculate them with the correct nitrogen-fixing bacteria.
Vegetables to plant. This month vegetables that can be planted include beans, carrots, eggplant, endive/escarole, okra, bunching onions (green and shallots), peppers, Southern peas, squash and tomatoes.
Vegetables to sow. The vegetable seeds that can be sown now for planting in September are arugula, beans, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, Chinese cabbage, collards, eggplant, endive/escarole, kale, lettuce, mustard, peppers, spinach, squash, Swiss chard, tomatoes, turnips and cucumbers. After September, the next month for planting cucumbers is January.
Feed your lawn. To help the lawn tolerate the weather extremes of flood and drought, spray it weekly (or as often as possible) with liquid seaweed or kelp. Both seaweed and kelp supply trace elements and growth hormones, which research has shown help plants handle environmental stresses. For the lawn, apply the liquid seaweed using a hose-end sprayer. For edible (and ornamental plants experiencing insect pest and/or disease problems), a hand pump-up sprayer works well to apply a fine mist to both sides of the foliage.