University of Vermont Extension
Department of Plant and Soil Science
HARVESTING BASIL AND OTHER AUGUST
Leonard Perry, UVM Extension
basil, taking cuttings of some annual flowers, and harvesting produce
of the gardening activities for this month.
harvesting basil, instead of just removing individual leaves, cut back
stems. This will create a bushier plant that will produce more leaves
flowers and scraggly growth. Pick basil in the morning for the best
This is when the oil content in the leaves is highest. Use the
leaves to dry for seasoning later, or
cook into pesto you can freeze for later.
Take cuttings in late summer of geraniums, coleus,
and begonias to produce new plants. Take a 4- to 6-inch-long cutting,
cut end in rooting hormone powder, and stick the cutting in moistened
soil or a mix or perlite and vermiculite. Cover with a clear plastic
keep out of direct sun. If the bag stays
too moist inside, make a few slits.
Cuttings should root within a month.
Coleus often just root in a jar of water too.
sweet corn early in the day for the best flavor. Squeeze ears to see if
firm and wait until the silks have browned and dried to harvest. Eat
immediately unless growing the supersweet varieties that will hold
sweetness for a few days. Store in the refrigerator. If you
don’t grow sweet corn, or enough, buy
some locally at farmer’s markets or farmstands to cut off the cob
for great winter eating. Make sure and
is merely boiling vegetables briefly to destroy enzymes that cause them
usually about 3
minutes, more for thick ones such as large carrots, and less for tender
such as shelled peas. You can’t freeze
salad greens, but you can other greens such as collards. Peppers
and onions don’t need blanching prior
to freezing. Once blanched, drain and
let vegetables dry a bit before freezing, so they won’t freeze
into a solid
lump. Use special plastic bags or containers labeled for freezing, as
won’t prevent moisture loss.
hasten ripening of already set tomatoes, remove new blossoms as they
Chances are the new blossoms won't have time to mature before frost and
will take energy away from the developing fruit. Don't prune the
because they are shading and protecting fruits from the hot summer sun.
watering newly planted trees and shrubs, water infrequently, but
a water basin around the drip line of the tree, but block the water
up against the tree trunk. Fill the basin with water and let soak in 2
feet deep. Watering this way once or twice a week is better than
soil more frequently. Planting trees and
shrubs from pots is fine throughout the season as there is minimal root
disturbance. Don’t fertilize now, as this may stimulate new
growth that won’t
harden before fall freezes.
summer is a good time to order spring flowering bulbs, such as tulips
daffodils, from catalogs or online, if you haven’t already.
The selection is often greater than at local
stores, although garden stores usually have plenty in September if you
and aren’t too particular. Even though
catalog orders will be received now, they will be shipped at the
time for planting in fall. Just keep a copy of your order so you know
(Charlie Nardozzi is a nationally known horticulturist,
author, gardening consultant, and garden coach