Monthly Garden Calendar for Northeastern United States

Organic Gardening Month-to-Month Almanac

By Amy Goldman

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AUGUST
I live for August. That's when all the hard work pays off and the harvest comes in. And by the looks of it, this year there's going to be a bumper crop.

Enjoy the fruits of your labor. What could be better than eating cherry tomatoes off the vine, or Charentais Melon au Porto? For melon recipes see my book, Melons for the Passionate Grower, (Artisan, 2002).

Stop Pushing Zucchini. DON'T visit zucchini and summer squash on your friends and neighbors — it's worse than giving away ice in winter. Far better to pull the plants out and compost them if you've had your fill.

Harvest Time. Harvest frequently to keep plants productive.

Preserve, pickle, can, or freeze the surplus. Two of my most well-thumbed guides for the perplexed:
Preserving Summer's Bounty edited by Susan McClure, Rodale, 1995.
Fancy Pantry by Helen Witty, Workman Publishing, 1986.

Pop Quiz. What do you do with the spawn of 500 tomato, 100 melon, 50 gourd, and 150 squash plants? Good question. I'll start by converting my garage into a curing shed: setting up screens on sawhorses and fans to move the air. My pride and joy is a new industrial-strength refrigerator that can hold the perishable goods—until I can give most of them away.

Order Up. Order bulbs and trees for fall planting.

Go Green. There's still time to sow a green manure crop of buckwheat and till it in before frost.

Support local agriculture. Patronize a farmers' market near you for items that you don't grow yourself, or for value-added products such as cheeses, wine, honey, jams and jellies.

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