August brings with it a lot of excessive heat in Oklahoma so our main garden chore is keeping whatever we can alive. Once the temperatures pass 90 or 95, things begin to wilt, dry out quickly, and most plants won’t produce until temperatures cool down. The garden in August in Oklahoma is surviving!
The pollen in flowers such as tomatoes gets sticky during excessive temperatures and makes pollination nearly impossible.
What to do in the Garden in August
Doing garden chores in August proves difficult as well. Not only do the plants wilt, so do I. I am extremely sensitive to the heat, so I have to be super careful and not stay out too long.
I have to be strategic about getting out there earlier in the day and when I take the kids out in the mornings to harvest, I have to watch them carefully as well. The only thing that makes it bearable is fall is coming. I want to take good care of my plants until the garden work is pleasant again.
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This garden season has brought Little Sprouts a TON of animal invasion. We have had rabbits eating off all our seedlings so everything had to be planted at least three times and most things we eventually just had to buy seedlings for which made our garden more expensive to grow.
Once we got things growing, we were plagued by squirrels taking the bottom half of our tomatoes, raccoons ravaging ALL the fruit off our fruit trees, and possums and raccoons stealing melons and tomatoes. Some days we would come out to find two entire cantaloupes consumed in one night. It was so disheartening. But we also harvested several hundred pounds of wonderful produce.
What to plant in August
We have picked hundreds of squash bugs a day, but those little suckers are relentless. Every day there are hundreds more, just chowing down on all of our curcubits. First they killed all of our zucchini, and yellow squash, as usual, we didn’t even grow ONE summer squash to enjoy.
Then they moved over to the pumpkins and killed those, also not leaving us even one. Next they destroyed the butternut vines which were producing quite well this year. We harvested several before they killed the vines.
This week they killed all 6 cucumber vines and have moved over to the cantaloupe and watermelon vines. I fear those will be gone within the week. Hell is full of squash bugs.
August is the time to plan your fall garden. If you want to grow your own seedlings, now is the time to plant seeds in pots and set them in a partially shaded area to germinate. If you plan to buy seedlings, it’s time to make a list and plan where you might find some.
We have had very little rain in August and as much as we try to water, the ground never gets a good soaking like it does from rain. So, we water as much as we can and pray for rain to come and relieve our dusty ground. Just a few weeks ago, we were having floods, and now drought. It seems so crazy.
Summer garden tasks in zone 7
The other thing to do in August is weeding. The weeds have been more manageable, I guess because of the dryness. We have been picking Johnson grass, Bermuda grass, and crabgrass out of every nook and cranny. There are a few other weeds, but it’s mostly grass this year.
There are many empty beds right now at Little Sprouts. When your beds lay empty, it’s good to add more mulch to keep in moisture, protect beneficials in the soil, and keep weeds out. We have been working on getting some of our beds covered with straw. It’s the mulch we use most often here.
August is the least fun month, to me, in the garden. I always just try to survive it and wait for better weather. Even with all the disaster, disappointment, and failure we’ve had this year, we have still had food to eat, and up until the past two weeks, we’ve had most of our food from the garden.
And still, time spent sitting in the garden just listening, looking, smelling, seeing and feeling, is some of the best time in my life. The garden is a paradise, still.
For what to do in the garden month by month, click here.
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