Gardening

August In The Garden

Summer settled in, with a few days of cool(er) weather at the end of July (read, normal weather for the PNW). It gave me time to go outside and do a lot of needed work. I assessed what was thriving, what wasn’t growing well, and what needed to be culled (a good way to speed up the daily watering needed in 90+ temps!)

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I made a batch of my favorite salsa, actually a double batch. Felt good to see the pantry growing filled once again.

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The Meyer Lemon Tree I transplanted up to a new container, getting it ready for it staying in the unheated greenhouse all winter. My Aloe Vera plant, I moved up, into the lemon’s old pot.

It also felt good to hose everything down in there….get it cleaned while it is warm to dry it out 🙂

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The “mystery” raised garden bed has had many surprises this year. This pansy was the latest. About half of the fill was handmade compost. It has been a hoot to see what seeds there.

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Which speaking of, these two massive tomato plants seeded out of it. I let the go, and finally staked them out. From what I can see, one is a Cherokee Purple heirloom – of which I grew I last year. Hah…..and they are my healthiest plants I might add. (End of August? I had to double stake the plant!! It has hundreds of tomatoes on it.)

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On the second of August, Kirk and I harvested the first two apples. Oh, so good. There is nothing like a sweet payday for all that work!

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On the second of August, the Mammoth Sunflowers opened to the sun, and now reach over 9 feet high.

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The first Saturday of the month at Home Depot is kid’s building morning. Walker loves to go with Daddy. It’s so much fun – and free!

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Alistaire is old enough that with a lot of help, he too can build.

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Walker proudly displaying his new chalkboard. So much fun!

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Little watermelons. Each the size of a jumbo gum ball. I am sure they will never get big enough to harvest, but oh the fun for the kids to watch grow.

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They are getting bigger as the weeks go by (mid-August), and I picked up the idea of putting them on black pots, to keep them off the ground, they have quadrupled in size.

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White Cherry Tomatoes. I had grown these from seed, and they were not easy, but then…is any tomato easy to grow without heat? The story behind this plant is I got the seeds in an exchange. This was the only plant that lived, and it was a runt. But, I didn’t toss it. It finally got maybe 6″ tall and I decided in early summer to plant it. The worst is it would die, right? Well, in a nice warm spot, against the fence, in a tiny raised bed, it took off. Topping out at over 4 feet tall, it is covered in fruit. Ironically, it is one of my best producing plants. I will grow this one again happily next year!

The apples started ripening in August. Some of our trees are late ones though, and we should get apples till October.

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The land prepped on the first of August, I planted fall peas. Two weeks later, with sprouts up, I quickly assembled the trellis system.

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Tomatoes daily. Really not a bad thing!

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Late season Chive blooms:

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Mid August I discovered a little frog living in the greenhouse:

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Succulents in bloom:

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Early August the Mammoth Sunflowers were growing fast. They reached 10 feet in height.

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Flowers of one of the Aloe Vera plants:

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My heirloom Cranberry beans grew – I am letting them grow for seed and next year we will have lots of plants!

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Jack Be Littles….a waste of garden space, but what child doesn’t love them?

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Will we get to eat these watermelon? I don’t know, but it is fun watching them grow. Plastic pots, turned over, make a great place for them to rest on, and also help with heat retention.

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A handful of olives formed in and are getting bigger:

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In an odd act, the Asparagus sent up last-minute shoots….

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Late August Strawberries are so good – almost sweeter than June ones!

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The little frog continues to love living in the greenhouse.

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And in the final week, I cut down the Mammoth Sunflowers and let them start drying, then worked off the seeds after a few days, where they now are drying on their own.

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But most of all….IT RAINED. FINALLY. After the driest and hottest summer on record here, in the final days of August it got cold and rained. It didn’t just PNW drizzle, it rained. In one day we pulled in over 650 gallons of water into our first tank (which was at 100 gallons left). The second tank is filled to the top (they are 1100 gallons each), and that first tank is now back up to 800 gallons. We drained the tanks down all summer watering the fruit trees – so this was a huge thing. The weather is staying this way for a couple of more days as well. Fire suppression, lakes being quenched, lawns coming back and the air is so clean now. Going 4 months without a good rain is a hard thing, especially when it is so hot, for so long.

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It was a good month for growing, but so hot this year. I learned a huge lesson on not feeding enough when it was so hot – something to chalk up for the coming years. Still, it was good. September will be a year since I decided to devote myself to the gardens. I’d like to think I have come far with it. But I know I have so much to learn still.

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