Nature | Seasonal

Farmer’s Almanac: Gardening Tips for August

Here on Johns Island, we have an abundance of local farmers who deliver bountiful, fresh produce to our local markets. But there’s nothing like harvesting your own garden of veggies in the comfort of your backyard.

This month, we’re planting heirloom squash, gourds and pumpkins as we prepare for the fall. The next time you drive through our entrance, you’ll witness acres of healthy soil preparing to harvest in late August.
Our community farm fields yield fresh local produce from farmers who have worked the property for four generations. Our land is cared for by our Chief Environmental Officer, Jeff, who has been helping maintain the land at Kiawah River for almost 20 years.

Now, get your garden tools ready! It’s time to look at what the Farmer’s Almanac suggests for our Johns Island residents:
– Check your plants for any diseases and pests and treat when necessary.
– Prepare soil for fall plantings. Clean up all debris. Mix in compost or fertilizer.
– Start plants for broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, kale, and onions to set out in September. In southern areas, cool-season crops can be planted.
– Plant herb transplants: rosemary, ginger, laurel, Mexican tarragon.
– Prepare your perennial flower beds now; you can start flowers for next spring soon.
– Even in late summer, you can plant bulbs for many lilies (butterfly, Aztec, spider).
– Continue to remove spent blooms, cut back overgrown bedding plants, and fertilize flowering annuals and perennials.
– Stake any tall-growing plants to help prevent any damage.
– Be sure to divide and replant any crowded plants. It is important to increase the air circulation between plants so that the plants can dry out between rain showers.
– If your lawn seems stressed, determine whether it’s rainfall or pests or disease. Use a sharp mower and remove only one-half of grass blades to reduce stress.
– If older palm fronds are yellowing, you may have a magnesium or potassium deficiency. Apply an appropriate palm fertilizer.
– Fertilize ornamental plans that need more nutrition due to growth and leaching rains.
– Lightly prune shrubs if they need it so that any new growth will harden off before the cold weather.