The August Garden

Life is good in the August garden.  Months of hard work are paying off with a bountiful harvest, and there is almost no work to be done.  I don’t even water any more.  It’s good that the cycle of life works this way, because I was just beginning to run out of garden steam.
 
In August we take our vacations, and the garden runs itself.  After weeks away, we’ve come home to more green beans, squash, tomatoes and okra than we know what to do with.  (Actually, we have no problem knowing what to do with it — see our next few posts for some yummy garden-to-kitchen ideas.)
 
Here’s what our lovely little urban farm has been up to in August:
 

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The garden is at its peak in August — everything is blooming, fruiting, and growing abundantly.

 

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This is our first time growing okra, so it was a lovely surprise to see the gorgeous flowers it produces — they look a bit like orchids.  (That’s a delicious okra pod growing next to the flower — my mouth is watering.)

 

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Our cantaloupes are growing well on a vertical trellis, and the vines are strong enough to hold them until they’re about this size.  (You can see one hanging in the background).  If they grow any bigger, I’ll need to add a sling for extra support.  You can make a sling by cutting up an old t-shirt or stockings, and tying it like a little hammock for the fruit to rest in.
 

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Our green beans are growing like mad — they had crossed through our fence into our neighbor’s yard by the time we returned from vacation.  Our kind neighbor is more than happy to share in the harvest.

 

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This was the only time all season that we had multiple ripe strawberries at once — usually Chip got to them first.  We quickly picked and enjoyed these before our little puffy-cheeked neighbor took them home to his family under the Lilac bush.

 

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Our cucumbers are also growing well along a vertical trellis.  In general, vining plants are great for vertical gardens, making it easy to grow in small spaces.

 

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We’re growing Butternut — another vine plant — along two different trellises — a pallet (shown here), and a tee pee I built.  We’re hand-pollinating our squash plants, in case there aren’t enough bees to do the job.  Our pollination assistance has been working, and the fruits are doing fairly well, despite some Powdery Mildew on the leaves (not deadly, just unsightly).

 

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A typical day in August.  Each day we’re harvesting a handful of tomatoes, a squash or two, between 3-10 okra pods, and a melon or cucumber.  There’s also a small red pepper in the carton — it was one of our only peppers of the season.  We save the okra in our fridge until we have enough for a meal, which is about once a week.

 

Happy harvest, friends.  Enjoy the fruits of your labors!

 

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