Believe it or not August is a great time to start thinking about replanting some of those cool season vegetable crops that you might have had in early spring. Lettuces, broccoli, kale, cabbage, onions and more are often planted this time of year so that you can enjoy them in the coming months. We typically have ours available for sale starting the second week of August and will continue to have them into the fall.
When planting your cool season crop it is a good idea to help protect some varieties from the intense heat and afternoon sun. If you notice any signs of sunburn, burnt leaves, or difficulty staying hydrated it is helpful to have a small raised shade cloth over the crop until weather cools. Be careful not to lock in moisture too much. Try to keep the shade cloth above the crop rather than tucked in around it. You want to protect the young plants from the sun yet you don’t want to eliminate air movement. Decreased air movement promotes disease.
If you don’t have room in your garden for the cool season crops consider growing them in containers. This also allows you to place the vegetables in a location that doesn’t get as hot. Make sure not to over-crowd them and use fresh, well-drained potting soil.
Your summer garden is now probably in full swing and you’ve been busy trying to keep up with it. Powdery mildew can often be a problem as the summer and fall set in and is typically caused by over-head watering. Over-head watering in general can promote disease and should be avoided if possible. For many it may be your only option and it is therefore important to make sure and water in the mornings vs. the afternoons and evenings. We often say “plants that go to bed wet often wake up with a disease.” By watering in the mornings the foliage will be dry by the time evening sets in.