Monthly Garden Calendar for Florida

Organic Gardening Month-to-Month Almanac

By Andres Mejides

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AUGUST

This is one of my favorite months. Yes, it's still hot day and night, but cooler months are just around the corner. For those of us who plant tropical annuals, we're enjoying the flowers and fruits of our labors. Also, we can actually start doing more than just dreaming about our fall vegetable gardens, because in August, we can start the more heat-tolerant varieties of many crops.

Solarizing Tip. If you've been solarizing your garden—allowing the sun to bake weeds through clear plastic placed over unused plots—now is the time to pull back the clear plastic and let the soil cool down.

Check Your Irrigation System(s). How are you going to provide water to all the plantings on your property? Are the sprinklers working? Are all your drip lines intact? Better to check now than to be surprised after you've put in your transplants or seeded your beds.

Start Heat-Tolerant Veggies. Peppers, eggplants and tomatoes can take these temperatures. If you're prepared to provide afternoon shade, you can plant heat-tolerant Brassicas (broccoli, cabbage, and relatives) and carrots.

Sharpen Mower Blades. Your mower has been getting quite a workout all season no doubt. Give it a tune up and sharpen the blades. And if you've had consistent summer rains, you can re-sod or reseed your lawn. While on the subject of lawns, you'll want to fertilize in fall— so go ahead and order an organic turf fertilizer now.

Plant Tropical Trees, Palms, and Shrubs. Summer rains may help keep newly planted shrubs watered, but don't rely on the rain unless you have a rain gauge. New plants need an inch of water each week, so be prepared to water if Mother Nature doesn't.

Seed Starting. Start seeds of heat-loving annual flowers, such as zinnias.

January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December

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