In this issue:

  1. August in the Garden
  2. August To-Dos
  3. Gardenerd Tip of the Month: Throw a Tomato Tasting Party!
  4. Gardenerd Product of the Month: 400+ Tips for Organic Gardening Success

August in the Garden

This is the time of year when the garden starts to wane. The long growing season here in Southern California takes its toll, pushing plants to their limits. But there is still beauty in a waning garden; it sparks hope for cooler days.

In our Test Garden, we’re harvesting yard-long beans, basil, tomatoes, and peppers. The late cucumbers we planted are climbing their trellis, and melons are wandering across raised beds. We’re harvesting cilantro seeds from spent plants, and tossing arugula seed pods into corners of the garden for later. They’ll sprout when the rains come in late fall. See our list of August To-Dos for other late summer tasks below.

Local Angelinos – This Saturday is our Composting Workshop. Learn how to turn garden waste into gardener’s gold. Details and registration are here.

Happy Gardening,


Summer harvest
Green Pod Red Bean Asparagus beans, assorted basil, Padron peppers and tomatoes.

2. August To-Dos

Prune dead and diseased tomato foliage

The garden may be on autopilot (watering and harvesting aside), but there’s still much to do. Here are some tasks for August to get the most out of it:

Prune Tomato Plants – summer takes its toll on tomato plants. They become leggy and diseased, even if they are producing prolifically. Prune away dead and diseased foliage, overgrown branches, and nibbled leaves. That will trigger new growth for the rest of the season.

Prune Cane Berries – if your berries have finished producing, trim back long canes to 4 feet and remove any dead cane at soil level. If your plants are still fruiting, mark fruiting canes with ribbon or clothes pins to ID the right canes to remove when they’re done.

More Compost – Add compost and worm castings to crops as they push to the end of the season. Oh, and start building a compost pile for next spring (hint: take our composting workshop to learn how).

Plan your Fall Garden – in climates where temperatures drop in late September, now is the time to plan and plant cool weather crops. For those with hot weather through October, plan your fall garden on paper.

Take Notes – walk through with your garden journal and note which varieties did well and which didn’t. Make notes for what to do differently next year.

Can / Preserve/ Dry – now is the time to “put up” a few pints or quarts of your garden harvest. Can tomatoes, make fruit leathers, and dry other crops. Make chili powder, salsa, and preserve herbs while fresh.

Plan a Trip to the Heirloom Expo – Summer isn’t complete without a trip to the National Heirloom Exposition in Santa Rosa, CA. Beautiful vegetables on display, brilliant lectures, drool-tastic vendors. JUST GO!

The garden may slow down, but our job is not done yet. Enjoy the process and the harvest!

3. Gardenerd Tip of the Month – Throw a Tomato Tasting Party!

Tomato Tasting sampling
Guests write down their favorites and taste again (just to be sure…)

It’s time to throw an impromptu tomato tasting party with your friends, your community garden, your fellow gardenerds. Gather your tomatoes, label them by variety, and start the delicious party. Here are step by step instructions for how to make your tomato tasting party a hit:

Tomato Tasting Party How-To

Don’t let summer pass without celebrating the reason we garden in summer! Throw a tomato tasting party and savor the results.

4. Gardenerd Product of the Month – 400+ Tips for Organic Gardening Success

400+ Tips for Organic Gardening Success

Pick up a digital copy for some summer reading and get ready for fall gardening. You’ll learn tips and tricks from 10 years of Gardenerd Tips of the Week all in one place.

Get Your Copy Here

Stay tuned for more tips and tidbits from Happy summer gardening!

Search our archives here.