University of Vermont Extension
Department of Plant and Soil Science
STORING FRUITS AND OTHER AUGUST
Leonard Perry, UVM Extension
fall vegetables, storing summer fruits, and harvesting onions are
some of the
gardening activities for this month.
sowing veggie seeds. Sow lettuce, beets, carrots, radishes, and
short-season crops for a late-summer harvest. Shade lettuce, if
during late afternoon to keep young plants cooler, or grow them next
plants, such as tomatoes, that provide some shade. Shading is easy
using white row cover over a
frame or wire hoops. Water seedlings often, and mulch between rows
moisture and block weed growth.
let fresh fruits and berries go to waste. Freezer jams are
surprisingly easy to
make, and even regular "canned" jam is pretty straightforward and
makes a great gift. At the very least, freeze some berries for later
simply spread them out on a cookie sheet and place them in the
they've frozen, pour them into freezer bags and seal. Use plastic
specially sold for freezer use, as these prevent drying out as
normal resealable bags.
harvesting onions when about half to three quarters of the leaves
back. Gently dig or pull the onions and store them in a dry, shady
good ventilation, such as an outdoor shed or barn, for 10 days to 2
put them in slatted crates or mesh bags and store them cool.
Indoors in a cellar with low humidity and
fall temperatures between 33 and 45 degrees F is ideal.
Harvest sweet corn early in the day
for the best flavor. Squeeze ears to see if they're firm and wait
silks have browned and dried to harvest. Eat immediately unless
growing the supersweet
varieties that will hold their sweetness for a few days. Store in
refrigerator. If you don’t grow sweet
corn, or enough, buy some locally at farmer’s markets or farmstands
to cut off
the cob and freeze for great winter eating.
Make sure and blanche first.
Blanching is simply boiling vegetables
for a short period to kill enzymes that cause their deterioration.
For sweet corn, place in boiling water for 4
to 6 minutes, then remove and cool.
Using a knife or corn scraper, remove kernels and place on cookie
or trays in a freezer. Once frozen, store in resealable plastic
you remove spent plants from your garden beds, if you’re not
planting a fall
crop, sow a cover crop such as winter rye. This will help reduce
infestation, minimize erosion and
compaction from fall rains, and will add nutrients and
organic matter to the soil when it is tilled under next spring.
need to start their hardening-off period by the end of August. It's
refrain from cutting the flowers, but allowing some to form hips
will help signal
the plant to begin this process. Consider
harvesting some ripening hops for tea and jams.
out dates for local fairs. These are a
great place to get ideas on new flowers and arranging them. Try
entering some of your own—you may just be
surprised that you have more talent than you think! You can find a
list online of Vermont fairs
and other events including farmers markets
rely on nature to provide enough water for trees and shrubs that
this spring or summer. Deep watering
once a week will encourage deep roots which better withstand
better anchor trees.
(Charlie Nardozzi is a nationally known horticulturist,
author, gardening consultant, and garden coach; CharlieNardozzi.com).