August is a strange month for the garden. It is when most of the plants are producing like crazy yet at the same time, it’s when everything starts to slow down. That is the side-effect of growing in a cool and short garden season. Well, most years it’s cool, however, this year was abnormally warm. Not only that but there was a distinct lack of rain over the course of the month. Even with these challenges, the garden did pretty well this month. Without further ado, here is the August 2020 garden update. Let’s see how everything is growing.
August 2020 garden update
What’s growing well
Generally speaking, most of the garden is doing well. There are a few spots here and there that aren’t exactly thriving, but that happens every year.
I would say that the beans and peas have been doing best. While the bean plants are small compared to previous years, they have been absolutely loaded with beans and some are still flowering. The peas went crazy. In fact, they outgrew the fence and trellis that I had set up for them. The snap peas are easily 2 feet taller than the fence and are going wild producing tons of pea pods.
The one carrot bed is doing amazing and I cannot wait to see how well the harvest goes with them, though that will have to wait until next month.
Though it is hard to tell for sure, the potatoes that I planted back in June are looking healthy. These will be ready to harvest sometime in late September or early October, so it’s too early to know for sure how well they will produce.
All of the herbs have been growing like crazy, even the rosemary and thyme which were small and struggling at first. In fact, this is one of my best years for growing herbs. Likely because I planted so many of each variety. In fact, I would say I planted a bit too much parsley this year.
The onions are looking great as well. They may not get as large as they have gotten in some years but I think we will have a good harvest and there is close to a year’s worth of onions.
Some of the carrots that I planted are still struggling. They were planted at the same time as the bed that is thriving but for some reason, these carrots just aren’t doing well. This happened last year as well, so I think it has something to do with the conditions of that raised bed.
The entire middle raised bed in my garden is also having a hard time. The only thing that has grown well in it was the radishes. Everything else has grown slowly or not sprouted at all. I honestly have no idea why it is doing so poorly.
The beets, which were an experiment this year, were a complete failure. They sprouted fine and then just stopped growing. Even two months later the plants have not grown at all. In fact, I have since pulled them as I know they will not produce anything before the end of the summer.
Another plant that just isn’t doing well is the cabbage. The seedlings were a decent size and looked healthy when I transplanted them, however, they just didn’t take off this year. In fact, I don’t think we will get even a small head of cabbage this year.
What’s being harvested
A little bit of everything was harvested this month. However, beans and herbs were the biggest producers. I was able to harvest the beans four times, which allowed me to can a total of 41 pints. The plants are starting to slow down and die back a bit, but I am sure I will get another harvest or two before they are done.
The herbs, especially the parsley, were another prolific part of the garden. I was regularly picking herbs throughout the month and putting them in my dehydrator. In fact, the parsley alone filled an entire quart jar once it was dried, on top of a bunch that was used fresh for cooking. The basil gave me two harvests, which is good considering how much those plants were struggling earlier. Finally, the oregano gave me a single harvest this month.
The peas, both sugar snap and shelling, were going crazy and I got several harvests of them. I grow shelling peas for snacking because it takes a crazy amount of plants to produce enough to can. The snap peas, as always, were producing a crazy amount and it was a struggle to keep up with them.
There were two pots of potatoes that I had planted back in April that were finally ready to harvest. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but these 3 pots, which have been growing Golden potatoes, did fantastic. These potatoes were quite large compared to the ones harvested last month and had quite a few in each pot.
Zucchini and summer squash were also ready to harvest. In fact, some of these surprised me because I hadn’t seen any, and then suddenly there was a massive one. I was able to harvest four zucchini and two summer squash over the month. Some of them were dehydrated, some were shredded and frozen for zucchini bread and some were used fresh.
Lastly, I harvested a few carrots. They won’t be ready to fully pick until next month, but I did pull a few to have fresh for dinner. The carrots were a good size and fairly straight. It makes me excited to see what the big harvest will be like.
With all this harvest happening, I was so glad that I had built a veggie wash station as it can in handy in cleaning the veggies before I bring them into the house.
In July I was having one heck of a time dealing with squirrels and chipmunks digging up the garden. With a combination of chili powder sprinkled around the plants and adding chicken wire cages to some, I was able to eliminate most of the digging. However, they were still an issue during August. I do plan to research other ways to deal with them in the future, but for now, I am simply dealing with the small bits of damage they are creating.
The front flower garden
At the beginning of the month, a lot of the flowers were looking rough. I don’t know if it was the continued heat or lack of rain because admittedly I don’t water the front garden, but the plants sure weren’t doing well. However, as the month progressed they all bounced back and even flowered a second time.
The chocolate mint plant is doing amazing. In fact, I have since cut it back and am drying the leaves.
Overall, I am happy with how the garden did this month. There were a few setbacks but nothing major and seeing the harvest start to come in is always nice. I hope you enjoyed my August 2020 garden update. How did your garden do this month?