Seasonal Tips for Gardening Zones August-September 2002

Carol Mack shares important seasonal tips for gardening zones in New England/Maritime Canada, Mid-Atlantic, Southern Interior, the Gulf Coast, Central/Midwest, North Central and Rockies, Pacific Northwest and the Southwest.


| August/September 2002



193-100-01-gardening

Timely gardening tips for where you live.


ILLUSTRATION: DIANE A. RADER

Learn about current August and September seasonal tips for gardening zones in the U.S.

New England/Maritime Canada Gardening

Putting up food and saving seed are a priority right now. Watch for fully mature, dry seedpods and collect them before they shatter. Spread the seeds out to dry completely before storing. Finish harvesting garlic and take advantage of that precious open ground. There is plenty of time to sow a cover crop, like oats or rye. Or turn in 2 to 4 inches of compost and plant fall greens, such as spinach, bok choi, arugula, mesclun, corn salad or cilantro. Spinach planted during the first two weeks of August will grow to full-size by late September; later plantings will produce smaller leaves. Clean up early drops from around fruit trees. Watch for branches overloaded with fruit and support with props or thin the fruit: Fruit-burdened peach branches are especially prone to breaking.

Mid-Atlantic Gardening

Plant lettuce, carrots, beets, radishes, kale, kohlrabi, turnips, spinach, beans, summer squash and Chinese greens through August. Switch to cold-tolerant varieties of lettuce, such as "Thai Oakleaf 88,"' around August 20, and transplant the last fall brassicas by then. To trap harlequin bugs next spring, try planting a mix of kale, turnips and mustard as an edible cover crop. Keep winter roots weeded through September, and sow spinach, kale, collards, radishes and Chinese greens weekly. Continue harvesting summer veggies, using that last burst of summer harvest to make sure you have enough tomato sauce, salsa and pickles to last the winter. Steam and freeze surplus broccoli. Keep strawberries watered and weeded. Plant vetch and winter rye as a cover crop on bare soil and protect remaining produce with row cover as October frosts approach.

Southern Interior Gardening

Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, collards, cucumber, kohlrabi, lima beans, mustard, turnip, squash, pumpkin, rutabaga and early peas can still be planted from seed in warmer regions. Keep soil moist and shaded with a thick layer of compost or grass clippings. You may also want to try transplants of bell peppers and tomatoes and beat the cold weather with some tasty treats. For rose growers it's time to fertilize and lightly prune those blooming beauties to keep them healthy for next season. September is also a great time for planting pansies for some late-season color. Speaking of color, if you are planning to plant bulbs for spring, be sure to order them so you will have them for planting in October and November.

Gulf Coast Gardening

Hot August days test your devotion to gardening, but persevere: Effort now will pay off with bountiful fall crops later.

Make a big batch and freeze it in ice cube trays. Transfer the pesto cubes from the trays into freezer bags and you're ready for quick, easy meals of your favorite pasta tossed with sweet basil and garlic pesto.





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