University of Vermont Extension
Department of Plant and Soil Science
KEEPING COMPOST MOIST AND OTHER
AUGUST GARDENING TIPS
Charlie Nardozzi, Senior
Dr. Leonard Perry, Extension
University of Vermont
Keeping your compost moist, freezing
corn and berries, and removing old mulch under roses are some of the
tips for this month.
After a few days without rain, take a hose to
the compost pile and moisten the materials to keep them decomposing.
compost fork to mix the ingredients, moving the stuff around the
outside of the
pile into the middle where most of the decomposition takes place.
Leave some seedpods on lupine plants
until they dry. Then cut the pods off the plants, using a paper bag to
the pods and any seeds knocked loose as you cut. Store the pods and
the paper bag in a cool, dry place for sowing next spring. When the
begins to die, reduce watering to encourage the bulbs and tubers to
before harvest. This helps maximize their storage life.
The long stretch of rainy weather in
many areas means soggy soil and plants. To avoid spreading disease, try
avoid walking among your plants when they are wet. It's not too late to
hay as a mulch, which can help keep disease spores from splashing up
plants. If you don't mulch, lightly hoe the surface of the soil when it
out to break up any crust that could impede water penetration. Harvest
frequently so fruit doesn't rot on the plants.
Preserve the fresh-picked (well,
almost) flavor of corn on the cob for winter meals. Cook the cobs as
using a special corn scraper or a sharp knife, cut off the kernels and
them in freezer bags. They will be much tastier than any store-bought
Berries such as blueberries,
raspberries, strawberries, and blackberries are easy to flash freeze
smoothies. Rinse the berries and let them dry on paper towels. Spread
them in a
single layer in cake pans or whatever size pans will fit in your
frozen, pour them into labeled freezer bags or plastic containers, and
back in the freezer.
Many other vegetables, either from
your garden or local farm stand, can be frozen fairly simply.
make sure you have the correct
containers for freezing, marked as such.
Sandwich bags and dairy containers for instance wont work. Then
sure you boil briefly or
"blanch" prior to freezing to stop the enzymes that make vegetables
keep ripening. Just boil until they are
barely cooked and still quite tender, then submerge in a pot of water
to cool quickly. You can find many more
freezing details online (www.ag.ndsu.edu/pubs/yf/foods/he187.pdf).
Begin removing the old mulch under
roses and raking up all leaves and debris. While this organic matter
beneficial, there are many rose disease organisms and insects that
there, and you can reduce the damage to your plants next year by
getting rid of
Stop pruning most trees and shrubs
now, and allow roses to form hips. Pruning woody plants stimulates new
that may not have time to harden off before the first cold snap of
Leaving spent rose flowers so they form hips signals roses that they,
should begin winding down.