›› Kayla Siefried, Compost Education Centre
Ah, August in the garden, when the abundance is (hopefully) pouring into the kitchen, and when you heavily rely on friends and neighbours to water your garden while you galavant on summer holiday, and when your plants begin to look, maybe, a little yellow or a little tired.
Here are some tips to keep your summer veggie garden looking tip top and staying healthy well into the autumn.
- Add more compost! You can never go wrong with adding compost. It boosts nutrition, adds more life to your soil, and can revive plants that are turning colours that are undesirable.
- Use liquid organic fertilizer. If necessary, on heavy feeding annuals especially if they are in containers, use an organic liquid fish emulsion fertilizer, dilute as recommended on the bottle, to boost nitrogen and other macro nutrients in your garden soil.
- Make and spray compost tea on all your plants and soil. Check out our Factsheets on our website (compost.bc.ca) and you’ll see our factsheet #13 on how to make compost tea by hanging a mesh bag of compost in a bucket of rainwater and aerating it for 24 hours. You’ll end up with a fantastic liquid fertilizer, brimming with beneficial microbes for your garden and plants to drink up.
- Mulch your soil. Keeping your soil covered nearly all year long with deciduous leaves collected each fall or some straw purchased from local garden centres keeps soil moist for longer in the summer and adds organic matter. Both soil moisture moderation and the presence of organic matter are extremely important for the longevity and health of organic vegetable plants.
- Succession plant. When one crop isn’t doing well or is complete with its lifecycle, then plant some other food crop! Keep the food flowing by following up your peas with some summer lettuce, daikon radish, rutabaga, etc.