It’s August and nearly time for my husband to go back to school (he’s an elementary teacher) and yet we probably have 2-3 more months of summer like weather. I lived in South Dakota for five years for college (3 yrs for undergrad + 2 postgrad) and the seasons are more defined there than they are here in California. What that means is that our garden’s growing season is much longer here. I attended a year-round gardening workshop last year with my mom with plans to garden year-round and this year I’m doing it. I’ve got all of the seeds and started some of my late-summer plantings and will start my seedlings shortly. It’s still very hot here in the foothills (100+ lately), so I’m trying to figure out the best place to keep my seedlings outside where they won’t die of heatstroke. I’m starting broccoli and cauliflower seeds, so we’ll see how that works out as it’s my first time with those. The deer have started coming around and thankfully our automatic deer sprinklers have pushed them off. I just found a giant hornworm on my banana peppers next to my house. I hate these culprits, but I guess they have to eat, too!
Our garden is coming along nicely for the most part. We’ve been harvesting tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, tomatillos, squash and okra so far. I should be able to pick some beans pretty soon and I’m loving watching the corn grow.
I got in some new plantings the other day with some winter squash, pumpkins and corn. My pumpkins and squash are a little late to be planted, but I should still be able to harvest some. The key to planting like this is to look at your estimated first frost date and counting back to see how many days you have until then and looking at the seed packet (it generally tells you how many days until your first harvest) and planting accordingly. My cold weather crops go in differently as they prefer the cooler weather.
Weeding and battling vermin seem to be constant battles, but it comes with the territory. I hope the year-round gardening thing works out as this is my first time attempting it. I just organized all of my seeds by when to plant them so that I can keep more up-to-date on that. If you don’t plant all at once (like say with tomatoes), you will have a longer growing season, as in putting in plantings every couple of weeks or so. I have not done this to full effect yet, but I sure hope to! This is my second year having a garden of this size so there are a lot of lessons to be learned. It’s also been abnormally hot here (as evidenced by some of my plants) and that sure doesn’t make me want to go out and work in the garden. It is usually in the 100′s in July and August here, but not for long periods of time like it has been. We usually have a bit of a respite between heat waves. It seems like it has just been a long, terrible heatwave all summer long. My plants sure don’t like it as it stresses them out, but at least these volunteer sunflowers do.