It might not seem like it but August is a great time to start planning and planting the vegetables you want for the fall and winter. Get a jump on this and you won’t be regretting it when the weather starts to cool off.
When it comes to successfully growing vegetables in the summer months, planting heat tolerant crops is key. Choosing the right varieties that can handle consecutive days of hot and dry will help you on your way to strong yields. Keeping a consistent watering routine will also be crucial for when the mercury is high.
Have you made your plans for what you want to grow this season? The temperatures are rising and the days are getting longer, meaning the sooner you get your seeds in the ground the stronger your yields will be in the coming months. What’s better than bringing a salad grown by you to a spring potluck?
We know, we know: why would you plant garlic if the future of the garden is unclear? It's a tough place to be in. But one nice saving grace about garlic is that it is very easy to transplant in its early phases, meaning there's always the option of relocating your shoots in months to come. Beyond that, garlic is one of the easiest and most reliable crops you can grow, not to mention economical (think about how expensive organic garlic is!).
This is an obvious but sometimes necessary reminder to pick and eat your food. There is nothing worse than watching a delicious zucchini turn to mush on the vine because it's gone unpicked for weeks. If you can't keep up with the food coming out of your garden box, why not invite a friend to come harvest for you?
Even though Halloween and first frost feels far away, August is actually the time to start seeding for late season crops like spinach, chard, beets, kale and other cool-season salad greens like arugula, mache and certain mesclun blends. Use this handy chart from Farmer's Almanac to find out seeding dates for specific plants. Note that Vancouver's first frost date tends to come in early November, so the October 30th column is a pretty accurate bet for our climate.
With this heat, it's a good idea to plan on visiting the garden every 2 to 3 days to soak your soil. Brian Minter was on CBC's BC Today program last week and imparted the wisdom of early morning watering as the best time of the day to feed your plants. Second best (and perhaps more realistic) is to water during the cooler evening hours. Watering during the hottest midday hours can scald your leaves and fail to penetrate those deeper layers in the soil where you want your roots to dig.
It can be easy to forget all about aphids when the nights are still cool and our tender green shoots grow undisturbed in their little soil beds. But come hot season, you'll want to have some measures in place to deal with the threat that is most absolutely for sure without a doubt on its way.
This is a great time to meet your neighbours and to plant your first seeds (if you haven't already). We'll be on hand to answer any and all gardening-related questions. The event is also an opportunity for those wishing to pay their Annual Garden Fee by cash or cheque to do so, and it serves as the deadline for your 2018 registration fee. Please have your payment in to us by the 15th!
We'll be out on Sunday, April 15th at 10 a.m. to host a meet-and-greet event at the garden. This is a great time to meet your fellow gardeners, plant your first seeds (if you haven't already) and ask us any garden related questions you might have. Rain or shine, but let's hope for sun!
In case you missed the good news: we're good to grow for another year! Registration is now open for the 2018 growing season, and we encourage returning gardeners to take a moment to complete our online sign-up form and pay your annual fee of $15/bed.
Here's to a great 2018 at the Alma & 10th Temporary Community Garden!