August may be the hottest month of the year, but it’s the ideal time to start your fall garden. Most vegetables planted now won’t produce in the heat, but they will get established and be ready to produce when the weather cools slightly in a month or two.
Plant warm-season crops like pole beans, sweet corn, eggplant, okra, southern peas, peppers (transplants), pumpkin, squash and watermelon. Early in the month there’s still time to seed most tomato varieties. A few cool-season crops can also be started now. Try broccoli, celery, collards, bunching onions and shallots.
Now is also a good time to add to your herb garden. Annual herbs will provide a fall harvest and perennial herbs will become well-established before winter.
You will need to check the moisture levels of young plants daily. Their small root systems will dry out quickly in the sun and heat. Daily watering will probably be required until they become established.
Pineapples, carambola, guavas, bananas, monstera, elderberry and limes are all in season now. Check for ripe fruit daily to stay one step ahead of any fruit-loving animals. Click on the links to read more about growing these fruits in Central Florida.
Trim back tired-looking annuals, then keep them watered and fertilized to stimulate fresh fall growth. If they’re beyond help, pull them out, amend the soil with organic matter, and replant with another round of warm-season annuals.
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