Farming the End of Summer

HAPPY AUGUST TO YOU ALL

Well, it’s been quite an August so far. Today is the 26th and ten of those first twenty-six days were spent in a hospital by Bev’s side.  So my interaction with our urban farm took a serious back seat, and I feel a bit foolish writing about our August activities in farming.

But this is a blog, and the purpose of a blog is to inform/entertain/communicate, so I’ll move forward and tell you what I do know.

THE QUAIL ARE STILL ALIVE

Despite being somewhat ignored for ten days, the quail are alive and still laying eggs daily.  Obviously we were unable to partake in any farmers’ markets, but we still sold some eggs along the way and kept the birds healthy, so we have that going for us.  We do plan on doing two markets this week, so we will be up and running at full strength very soon.

The quail will stop laying eggs sometime in September and then it will be about five months of feeding them and keeping them alive with no financial return….but such is life.  We don’t believe in providing artificial light so they will lay year-round, so we’re left with this half-year approach to bird-farming.town_142

THE GARDEN

What we planted did quite well this year.  Potatoes, beans, peas, kale, tomatoes, peppers, squash, cucumbers, they all are doing very, very well, especially the things planted in the hay bales.  I have become a big believer in hay bale gardening and plan on expanding that next year.

Our weather has been about average for Olympia, meaning very mild with morning cloud cover and warming up in the afternoons.  We certainly have not had a hot summer but the lack of heat has not hurt the output at all.

Grapes and berries went crazy this year, far outgrowing my ability to keep up with them by constructing arbors and supports.  Sigh!  My winter to-do list is already quite long.

GREENHOUSES

I mentioned in an earlier installment that we are converting the old quail aviaries into greenhouses.  We know what has to be done. Now it’s just a matter of doing it.  Another winter project.  Double sigh!

Soon to be a greenhouse
Soon to be a greenhouse

THINGS TO DO IN AUGUST

Here’s a short list of things you probably should do in your garden this month:

  • Add compost to squash and cucumbers
  • Remove tomato flowers that have not set fruit
  • Sow fall veggies
  • Sow overwintering crops
  • Water, water and water again, but do it consistently.

 

HOW TO CURE ONIONS FOR LONGER STORAGE

Harvest those onions and then do the following:

  • When the tops of the onions fall over they are ready to harvest
  • Dust off the soil
  • Arrange onions on flattened cardboard in a dry place away from direct sunlight
  • Give them plenty of air space on the cardboard
  • Let them dry for a few week until the greens have withered
  • Pull off the tops of the onions. Keep in a cool, dark place for storage.

GETTING READY FOR NEXT SPRING

Now is the time, if you haven’t done so earlier, to start your own composting pile.  If you need instructions on how to do that, let me know and I’ll forward them to you.  Composting is so simple; it really is amazing more gardeners don’t do it.

GOT TO RUN

So much to do!  Happy Gardening this month to you all!

Bill

Advertisements