Rough looking canna leaves mingle with bloomed out Golden Glow--they're waiting for the city to carry them away.

Rough looking canna leaves mingle with bloomed out Golden Glow--they're waiting for the city to carry them away.

About now, you might be pretty burned out on your garden–And that’s ok.   August is the worst month to live in South and a horrible time to spend much time outside. 

There are only 3 or 4 chores I make myself do in this hotest and most humid month–

I’ll go ahead and confess that sometimes I’m  pretty slack about them all. 

Keep crops picked--these cherry tomatoes are heading for the roasting pan

  1. I try to keep up with watering.  Pots are most critical and dry out fastest.  I use my rain barrrels for those.  I do use my soaker hoses and drip systems in the beds, but if it’s been really hot and dry my sprinkler comes out, especially if I’m headed out of town.
  2. I pick ripe fruits and vegetables.  It’s waste not to and tomato sandwiches are cool and refreshing– actually one of the perks of this month. Also August is the time to make and freeze lots of pesto.  More on that in a later post.
  3. In August, I dead head plants and flowers, removing spent blooms to keep them blooming and cutting foliage back hard  if it looks raty.  I carry these cuttings to street for the town’s hot compost pile.  Too many leaf fungal things around this month.   Don’t want their spores in my compost. 
  4. I stake plants that fall over or get knocked down by storms. 

    I'm not a big sprinkler fan--but in August, I'll make an exception

 

My favorite actitivity in August is resting my back in front of the DVR, watching Dr. Zivago and digging all the snow scenes…or traveling to cool, windy places like Ireland or Nova Scotia while my poor garden roasts or gets pelted by big storms back home.   

No guilt though–well not too much.  We should all rest up for Fall when gardens and gardeners come alive again. 

Fall will be busy–It’s  the best time for planting in North Carolina, the best time for bed building, path building and other big projects. 

So save your strength and your budget–there’s another great gardening season ahead.  Fall is our second spring in the South…and in my mind, the best one.    Fall is my favorite season to be outside.

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