What Is It About August?

For most people August is that last blast of good summer warmth, the time of vacations, beaches, Maine woods, lakes, and escaping the cares of home and work.  For me this is true as well, but August is also the time when the garden starts to look a little end of season.  Things dry up and dry out in the heat. Flower stalks need clearing.  Weeds thrive.

Okay, it's not all bad.  This is vacation month after all.

Okay, it’s not all bad. This is vacation month after all.

Today the garden was drooping and I gave it a good soaking with the hose.  It has not been a particularly good year.  Too cold for too long and then too wet as well as cold.  I haven’t had enough to can, really, which I’ve done for the past few years in small batches.  This year, I’m eating things as they come on.

Given a comment by Kerry, I may have to do another blog on the varieties of okra preparation...

Given a comment by Kerry, I may have to do another blog on the varieties of okra preparation…

Still, in a garden you can always start over.  I’m thinking of fall crops, including a new batch of garlic in the next few weeks.  But with all the signs of an early fall, who knows whether a crop of greens will last into December or get hit with an early freeze?  That’s why I often stick to root crops in the fall.  Meantime, I’m looking forward to some more squash and basil and the first eggplants.

I have plans for this eggplant and its brethren.

I have plans for this eggplant and its brethren.

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39 Responses to What Is It About August?

  1. Sylvie G says:

    It looks delicious 🙂

    Like

  2. Some years the weather just doesn’t play ball with our plans! Maybe next growing season will be better. I am not planning on growing much this summer – I have a feeling it will not be a good season. This time last year I was already preparing and planting my first summer crops, lettuce, tomatoes, etc etc. This year there are still threats of snow and if that doesn’t eventuate it is still very cold, wet and frosty. The garden is sitting bare and barren! What you are harvesting makes my mouth water 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • arlingwoman says:

      Ah, if I could transport it magically, I would share! This year I had to plant late, which may be part of the problem. Sounds like it doesn’t want to give up the cold there!

      Like

    • Pauline, darn that cold winter of yours. I remember your garden well last year and the joy it brought you too. How disappointing. That said, I know you have plenty to keep you occupied. I hope things improve.

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  3. Your produce looks great – if not in abundance then in variety. Here there’s little to no snow, so I’ve been getting cabbages, caulis, turnips, kohlrabi, and even some strawberries, all winter. Can’t wait for spring so as to start planting! Oh but already…. the slugs!!!!

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  4. I used to enjoy planting garlic in the fall…many varieties, soft neck and hard neck. And Kale…we once were able to go out and brush the snow aside to pick kale on Christmas Eve, here in New England! The flavor improves with frost, on that tough green…

    Liked by 1 person

    • arlingwoman says:

      Mmmm…I do love garlic. Choose my biggest cloves from the previous year for new plantings. Kale can last all winter here. It isn’t doing well right now, but it will come back with cool weather. Maybe I should plant some too.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. starkwe says:

    It has been a strange year for weather. If I had planted a garden this year, it would have drowned here!

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  6. As you know, I didn’t plant much this year, so I feel for you and your lack of crops – even so, every little harvest is a joyful thing and scarcity makes you appreciate it all the more. Here’s to abundance next year!

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  7. We have probably been more fortunate with the weather this year, but you produce looks good.

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  8. Lots of rain here too but far from cold. lats year was the same, I did have veggies then but it all succumbed to mildew. This year we travel too much for big garden plans. But really your veggies look so good..it makes me wonder what crop you would have in really good summer! xo Johanna

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  9. KerryCan says:

    Do you ever get tired of gardening? By the end of August, I’m usually kind of sick of having to water and cut back stems, etc., and looking forward to putting the beds to bed, so to speak. We do flowers only, though. Definitely no okra . . .

    Like

    • arlingwoman says:

      Ooooh, I have recipes for you….but really, I get tired of it as it starts to look bad and needs continuous care. If it’s a bad year, I actually fantasize about the clearing out process. Clean slate!

      Like

  10. All our planning can be completely undone by the weather, eh Lisa? I’m sorry you’ve had a disappointing season. Planting root crops sounds like a great idea. Do you plant cover crops in the garden as well?

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    • arlingwoman says:

      Hmm. Something going wrong with the comment function here. I had replied on the cover crops (no, way too much work in the spring). I just put in compost and manure and let it winter over. I do think I’ll plant some beets and turnips soon, though. If you got a comment that didn’t show up here, let me know! I just answered Stacy twice because I thought I’d clicked the wrong thing. Ah well…

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  11. I remain in awe of your knowledge and gardening skills, Lisa. And now I’ve just learned the timing for eggplant 👍🏻 Now, what’s this about signs of an early fall??? Do tell – not wishing time away, but it’s my favorite season 😃

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    • arlingwoman says:

      Gaaa. Grk. Okay, now that I’ve stopped choking, I actually like fall as well, but it’s what comes after. Ugh. Still August. Whew. I do think we’ve got some early signs of fall. I started noticing in July–about a month early. It may just be the weird weather this early spring/summer, but if we have an early fall, I want it to be a long one!!! And yes, eggplants, August and September, sometimes into early October…

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    • arlingwoman says:

      The only thing I dislike about fall is what comes after. And November. Ugh. And darkness. Double ugh. I started seeing signs of fall in July, which is about a month early for the first signs, so if we’re having an early fall, I do hope it’s a long one. Re the eggplants, yes, August and September are prime time. Sometimes, they try to bear into October, but the light is too short at that point.

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  12. Robin says:

    I suspect Kerry and I have similar feelings when it comes to okra. I’m not a fan, no matter how many different ways I’ve tried to prepare it although I did manage to eat some when I roasted it. Not much, but it was an improvement. 🙂 We have started some seeds for fall greens, and you have reminded me that I have an eggplant that I plan to use. Almost forgot about it with the kids here visiting.

    Like

    • arlingwoman says:

      Now eggplant, with lots of people in the house…slice it thin, grill or broil and marinate in a basil, lemon, salt and olive oil mix. Great wrapped around cheese, meat, or by themselves. Can’t wait for my first!!!

      Like

  13. Fall crops, wahoo! I love the fall for its abundant gifting from the earth. Sometimes, I’m amazed at how long and hardy things keep chugging out produce.
    And I, too, have noticed some of those early fall signs here, Lisa. Glad to hear it from an expert and not think I’m going slightly batty.
    o_O

    Liked by 1 person

  14. corine24 says:

    It is great to eat vegetables from your own garden!

    Corine

    Like

  15. Boomdeeadda says:

    Well now, you did get a few lovlies to munch on so that’s a plus. The Rubeckia is looking like it might never stop growing, what a mass of blooms. I’m so surprised you can grow eggplant in a poor season, that’s really something. Things are dieing back here as well. The perrenials are long done, the annuals limping along and the trees are showing a bit of gold. That extreme blast of non-stop heat we had in July seems to have put our season on the fast track to fall. Seems like we *just* got started. Winter is really only 2 months away for us. Last year, there wasn’t any snow at Halloween, but there often is. It’s raining and cool today. 12 C right now I think, or 53.6 F Our overnights have really cooled off. The low tonight is 6 C or 43 F. I’m not rushing into fall though, we’re off to the lake tomorrow to visit with old friends, tally ho! 😀

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