Pacific Northwest

August, 2014
Regional Report

Plant More Veggies

To get the most value from your vegetable garden, make successive plantings of vegetables such as beets, beans, and carrots. Later plantings will enable you to continue the harvest into late fall. Dry soils can inhibit seed germination so wait until after a rain to direct seed cool-season crops, such as broccoli, cabbage, and spinach.

Water Early

Water the garden early in the day so plants can absorb the moisture before the hot sun dries the soil. Early watering also improves the chance that the foliage will have time to dry before night. Wet foliage at night increases susceptibility to fungal diseases.

Prevent Cucumber Bitterness

Cucumbers develop a bitter taste if the soil is not kept consistently moist. Harvest cucumbers for pickling whole when they are 2 to 4 inches long. Harvest for table use, when they're longer than 5 inches. Remove any overripe cucumbers to encourage continuous production.

Harvest Fruits

August begins the harvest season for many fruits, especially red and black raspberries, early apples, and gooseberries. Harvest fruits as they mature so the birds don't get them. If you can't eat them all fresh, consider making pies or cobblers, or freezing the bounty for winter use.

Leach Salts from Containers

Mineral salts can build up in the soil of frequently fertilized potted plants, inhibiting root growth and leaving white, crusty deposits on container sides. Occasionally leach the soil by soaking the pots until the soil is completely saturated, then allowing fresh water to run through the soil for several minutes to flush out the salts.

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