August Gardening at Pipe Creek Farm

Be very careful to not garden when it is overly hot and dry. Plan the hours and days when you will enjoy being in the garden. In August I limit myself to 6am to 8 am and then after dinner before nightfall.

  1. Those bargain-basement annuals that you bought back in July should have returned to health by now. Keep them watered and insect-free.
Inexpensive Salvia bought in July was rootbound- cut back, watered, and planted and mulched will be 4-5 feet tall next year. Black and Blue salvia should come back!

2. Keep everything watered! and continue to mulch so that you can afford not to mind the garden for days at a time. Mulch cuts down on weed growth and lessens your need for watering- plus mulch will soak up extra water from thunderstorms.

3. Harvest vegetables and berries regularly. Zucchinis will get tough if you leave them too long on the vine and not harvesting can cut down a plant’s willingness to put out more. Tomatos can be sliced/chopped and frozen until you have enough for sauce so do pick them as they are ready.

so many…everyday!

4. Harvest herbs because although we love to dry them, they are awesome when grilling. `

5. And lastly, August is a great time to assess your pests. Gopher, Rabbit and Groundhog damage can be scene more readily and its a good time to note where and how prevalent these little garden fiends are and to make a list of where we will want to put plants next year that discourage them.

At Pipe Creek Farm, ground hogs are a major issue. Not just in the garden but they can be a safety issue for horses that can easily break a leg in an unseen hole and even for tractors that can turn over or get stuck on hills that have been eroded from underground by runamok rodents. Hawks, foxes and coyotes do our main groundhog control but I always try and keep them away from the house and gardens- and the dogs.

Squash plants after the first harvest. They have survived the pests but the sweet potatos to the right were nibbled down to the ground. Alas too close to the woods!

Heading down to the Pond

Inaccessible when we first arrived, we could tell that there was great potential when we could see geese and ducks flying overhead. Sadly we often found geese nests, bones and egg chips so we knew that predators were enjoying the overgrown conditions more than the geese.

We cut and mowed until we had a path that wound around the pond. We placed some Adirondack benches for either side and cleared where they would be and then stopped. Too much clearing and once again the birds would have no where to hide and protect their young. Coyotes now can be seen approaching and the deer venture forth now for water and berries. To draw wildlife we do place salt licks for the deer and encourage berries bushes and we will place corn there in the Fall.

The pond is a great place to cool off, fish and take a canoe ride. The dogs find it irresistible and the geese families now know that they are harmless. A magical place best kept in a semi-natural state with minimum mowing and clearing.

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