Take cuttings from plants such as impatiens, coleus, geraniums and wax begonias to winter over indoors. These are called herbaceous cuttings. Root the cuttings in media such as vermiculite, perlite, peat moss or planting soil instead of water. Keep them moist.
- Begin stocking up gardening supplies before they are removed for the season from retailers’ shelves. Pots, potting mixes, fertilizers and other products may be harder to find later in the season.
Vegetables and fruits
Complete fall vegetable planting by directly sowing seeds of carrots, beets, kohlrabi, kale and snap beans early this month. Lettuce, spinach and green onions can be planted later in August and early September. Thin seedlings as required.
Harvest onions after tops yellow and fall. Cure them in a warm, dry, well-ventilated area. The necks should be free of moisture when fully cured, usually about a week.
- Harvest potatoes after the tops yellow and die. Cure before storing.
- Pick beans, tomatoes, peppers and squash often to encourage more production.
- Harvest watermelon when the underside ground spot turns from whitish to creamy yellow; the tendril closest to the melon turns brown and shrivels; the rind loses its gloss and looks dull; the melon produces a dull thud rather than a ringing sound when thumped.
- Harvest sweet corn when kernels are plump and ooze a milky juice when punctured with a fingernail. If the liquid is watery, it’s too early; if doughy, it’s too late.
- Pears are best ripened off the tree. Harvest pears as soon as color changes, usually from a dark green to a lighter green, and when the fruit is easily twisted and removed from the spur.
- Prune out and destroy raspberry and blackberry canes that bore fruit this year. They will not produce fruit again and could harbor insects or disease.