By the end of August in Boulder Creek, the garden can be totally renewed and refilled. In fact, it must be planted up by this time in order for the fall and winter vegetables to mature enough to produce food before it gets too cold and dark. Broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and leek seedlings should be transplanted and growing well by mid-September or they’ll wait to size up until spring begins next year. Carrots, beets, chard, lettuce, spinach and even all kinds of peas (snap, sugar and shelling) can be sown in place in late August or early September. Although they need attention and careful watering now, later in their lives they’ll supply you well with little care required beyond harvesting and snail patrol. We are fortunate in our climate to be able to eat as much variety from our gardens in fall and winter as in spring and summer.
Whenever you go to the beach, bring back some seaweed in a burlap bag to dry and chop and put in thin layers in the compost heap. In six weeks you could have finished compost if you turn it every six weeks and keep it moist and covered from the baking sun. A seaweed compost heap here at Camp Joy one fall grew the sweetest, orange-est, crystal-crisp carrots we ever tasted. Don’t get it from near the sewer outfall pipes though.
It’s a good time to send for catalogs of fruit trees and berry bushes, roses, perennial flowers and shrubs, and pour over the glossy color pictures of plants to order and transplant in the winter dormant season. When ordering by mail, it’s wise to order early and be sure your chosen varieties aren’t sold out. The Boulder Creek library has a good selection of catalogs. This month the vegetable cart has a full summer splendor of tomatoes, squashes, carrots, nectarines, peppers, apples and many other varieties of freshly picked organic produce as well as fragrant mixed bouquets.