Photo: Olga Gorevan (Shutterstock)
As August comes, it seems like you will be able to switch to the autopilot for gardening and do all the necessary watering, weeding and picking without much thought. But really, there is a lot you can (and probably should) do this month to make sure your garden can weather the end of summer and be ready for the start of fall. Here are five tasks gardeners should add to their August regardless of planting zone or region, courtesy of Helen Greiner, the CEO of Tertile (a garden weeding robot)
1. Pull out the plants that are ready for the season
Each plant has its own life cycle, and if you have some in your garden that are past their flowering point – meaning they have stopped producing fruit this season or have been harmed by heat, rain, disease or living things – it’s up to that Time, pass them off. “Be a little reckless – especially if there is enough space for a second harvest,” Greiner explains in a statement emailed to Lifehacker.
2. Fill in the holes
At this point, there are likely some parts of your garden that look kind of sparse – after all, you’ve just removed a few plants. To compensate for this and to ensure that you make the most of your garden space, Greiner suggests planting fast-growing plants in their place. “Some plants that can still be planted in the late summer months are spinach, radishes, lettuce, and arugula,” she says.
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3.SOS (save pending seeds)
Think back on your harvest this year. Were there any fruit or vegetables that were tastier than usual? If so, save your seeds so you can plant them next year. In fact, according to Greiner, many types of seeds last between two and five years, depending on how they are stored.
“For best results, put the seeds in jars with a desiccant and keep them in your refrigerator, ”she explains. “If you don’t have extra space in your fridge, you can also put the seeds in jars and store them in shoeboxes in the coolest and driest place in your home.”
4. Pick new flowers that will grow on fruits and vegetables
At the end of the season, Greiner recommends removing all new flowers from plants such as melons, pumpkins and tomatoes. “This allows the plant to focus on the fruits that have already set, making them bigger and better,” she says. And as a bonus, certain vegetable flowers – like those that grow on pumpkin –are edible.
5. Look out for diseases
If you live in an area that gets particularly hot and humid in August, Greiner says it is a good idea to watch out for signs of a possible illness. Because fungal diseases like powdery mildew love the humid and humid weather.
“To prevent this from happening, cut off the diseased leaves and don’t throw them in your compost heap if you have one, ”she explains. “Wipe off the secateurs and wash your gloves to keep the disease from spreading. It is also in the best interest of your garden not to plant the same vegetables in the same place next year. “