Time to remove and replant
Plants like broccoli will finish production this month and their space can be reclaimed for more productive uses. Because August is the month when daylight hours are noticeably shorter and night-time temps are cooler, we can think about planting cool season crops again. Where the broccoli once bloomed is a great place to plant carrots, beets and radishes. Lettuce and spinach should probably wait until just after Labor Day.
Support for the harvest
By August tomatoes and tomatillos are in their wild growth spurt with branches getting longer and fruit getting bigger and heavier. This calls for adequate staking to keep the fruit ripening in the sun and the increasingly heavy branches well supported. Use tomato cages or other materials to provide this critical support through the harvest.
Grape vines - a new item this year in the 9News Kitchen Garden -also need support. Double sets of string that span the width of vertical supports or even a chain link fence can give the vines the support they need to grow out and then up. Check vines regularly to make sure plants are growing in the right direction and grabbing hold of the supports you have provided. Tendrils are delicate, so handle them gently.
Help for late-harvest produce
Pumpkins and some squash that will be harvested later in the fall can be susceptible to ground rot and insect infestations because they simply sit on the ground for their long ripening time. Sliding a plank of wood underneath the pumpkin provides a good barrier between the fruit and the ground that helps mitigate these problems.
Information courtesy Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado, sponsors of the 9News Water Wise Garden and the 9News Kitchen Garden. For help finding a landscape expert, go to www.alcc.com and click on Find a Pro.
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