Back to Back Issues Page
Vegetable Gardening Hints, Issue #008 -- Your August to do list and more.
August 02, 2008

August is harvesting month. This is the month where almost every vegetable growing in your garden can be eaten. It is the month to enjoy your fresh tasty veggies. However,there are things you need to do to keep your garden and vegetable plants happy.


  • Harvest often to keep your vegetable plants producing.
    By harvesting your produce often the vegetable plant will continue to produce new fruit or pods. Leave the fruit or pods on will indicate to the plant that it is time to rest.

    Beans need to be harvested everyday or at least every second day. Pick tomatoes, peppers, eggplants as they ripen. Harvest zucchini and other summer squashes at any size, the small ones often taste sweeter. Cut off cucumbers every few days, again you can harvest them small. They can become seedy and bitter if left too long on the vine. Pick lettuce and other salad greens regularly as well. Cut the outer leaves first, leaving the center to produce more leaves. Lettuce and be cut right back and another set of leaves will grow. Enjoy eating it all!!

  • Keep watering, weeding and fertilizing your garden.
    Weeds can easily take over your vegetable garden in the summer. The need to be pulled before they go to seed; once they go to seed they can spread around thousands of new seed that will germinate next season. When pulling weeds that have gone to flower or seed, make sure you place them into a garbage bag immediately so as not to spread the seed as you walk through your garden.

    Mature plants need less water at this time, however if you are planting new seeds or putting out young transplants they need watering every day sometimes twice a day if the weather is really hot.

  • Collect herbs or freezing and drying.
    Herbs are often a great compliment to your veggie garden. If you are not growing any now, they are easy to grow and attract beneficial pests and insects to your garden. Herbs are often positive companions to many vegetable plants.

    August is a good month to start harvesting rosemary, basil, oregano, and bay laurel. Drying and freezing are great ways to enjoy your herbs all through the winter.

  • Make your compost pile.
    Now that you are starting to harvest more, you will have more garden debris as well as more kitchen waste. Now is the time to start a compost pile.
    1. Gather compostable kitchen waste (referred as green material) which are vegetable scraps, egg shells and green garden debris.
    2. Place green matter into your compost bin or in an area designated for your compost pile. Then add in a layer of brown material such as hay, wood ashes, wood chips, dried leaves or dried lawn clippings. The green matter and brown matter can be mixed together.
    3. Each time you put in green matter to your compost pile the same amount of brown material should also be added.
    4. Sprinkle some soil on top. Soil adds micro organisms to the compost helping to speed up the composition. It also helps to keep it free of pests and insects.
    5. Add a little water regularly especially in the hot weather. Do not let it get too moist however.

    Learn more about making compost .

  • Take time to relax.
    My husband has composed and produced the most beautiful instrumental guitar music to relax to. This music is wonderful for listening to while taking a lovely soak in the bath, relaxing in the shade or enjoying a wonderful dinner that your harvested from our own garden. Sanctuary is a "must have" item in every gardener's tool kit. Enjoy the peaceful relaxing melodies.


    Tomatoes - red, ripe, and juicy

    Here are my tips for harvestin great tomatoes:

    • Tomatoes take a long time to mature. If you started your own seeds in February or March and then transplanted them out at the end of May, now is the time they will ripen for you.
    • When tomatoes are ripe they are a bright glossy red, yellow or black depending on the variety. They should be firm to the touch and pull of easily from the stem.
    • Pick the ripened tomatoes regularly so they do not become over ripe.
    • If your tomatoes are taking a long time to ripen, cut off some larger leaves to aerate the plant. This also allows more energy to go to ripen the fruit.
    • Another trick to make the fruit ripen is to pinch off the top of the plant after you have four flower bunches. New fruit can ripen rather than have the plant grow taller.
    • If your tomatoes are split it is often a sign of not enough water. Water deeply once or twice a week, unless your tomatoes are in containers. Containers usually need more frequent watering, but check the container first to make sure it is dry so you do not water too much.
    • Skin imperfections are a normal sign of changes in the temperature around the plants. This does not affect the taste. Keep your tomato plants at an even temperature if you can and protect them from excessive heat or harsh winds.
    • If you garden on the west coast of Canada and the forecast is for rain in August it is important to cover your tomatoes. I have lost many plants to blight by not protecting them from getting wet. Blight will turn the leaves brown and the tomato stem black.
    • Harvest until the temperature falls. Green tomatoes will ripen off the vine if they are mature. Their skin should be glossy.
    • Once harvested tomatoes can be eaten fresh, sun dried, frozen in pieces or whole, made into sauces, soups, ketchup, salsas or chutneys.

    Enjoy your bountiful harvest, make delicious meals with veggies from your garden and take time to relax by listening to the music on Sanctuary .

    Check in with for the simplest steps to having your own vegetables. I have several helpful ebooks that will provide you with easy to follow tips to have an even more successful vegetable garden next season, check them out.

    Your comments are valuable to me. I want to have my Vegetable Gardening Hints ezine be as informative and helpful to you as I can. Do you find the ezine helpful to you? Are there any topics you would like to learn more about? Please contact me with your comments and suggestions.

    If you have enjoyed this ezine please tell a friend.

    Welcome to the world of vegetable gardening!


Back to Back Issues Page