Monthly Garden Calendar for Southwest United States

Organic Gardening Month-to-Month Almanac

By John Dromgoole

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AUGUST

Despite the heat, many gardeners are working on the best garden of the year: the fall garden. Early in the month, the last transplants of tomatoes, eggplants and peppers can go in.

Seed Starting. Start your broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, Chinese greens and cabbages around mid-month.

Seed Savvy. Direct-seed carrots and mustard greens, but be sure to moisten and mulch the soil for these to come up.

Transplanting TLC. This is no month to leave the garden unattended. Young transplants need daily care. Start a flat of lettuce for transplanting next month, and keep young transplants and seedlings shaded from the harsh sun.

Prepare for Pinching. Pinch back your basil to encourage more leafy growth. Go ahead and start parsley, cilantro, dill and more basil from seed. Pick up fallen fruit in the orchard to help reduce disease and bug problems. Remove berry canes that produced this year and cut back slightly the tips of this year's growth. This promotes lateral growth of the canes, increasing your berry crop next year.

Water, Water, Everywhere. Make sure that this year's planting of shrubs, trees, and perennials get the moisture they need. Water deeply, apply a layer of compost, and then mulch on top.

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