In this issue:

  1. August in the Garden
  2. Fall Garden Prep and Classes
  3. Gardenerd Tip of the Month: Ripening Ground Cherries
  4. Gardenerd Product of the Month: Jr. Spaghetti Strap Top

1. August in the Garden

Is it hot enough for you? We’re on the coast and it’s been 85-90 degrees every day (with no air conditioning, mind you). We have a strategy here at Gardenerd HQ: in the morning we open all the windows, turn on two box fans to pull in cool morning air, then close up the house as outside temps rise. The house stays 10 degrees cooler than outside most of the day (still gets up to 86 inside, though), then we repeat the process in the late afternoon until we go to bed. Some afternoons we just stare at our toes because it’s too hot to do anything.

In our test garden, we’re harvesting Styrian Hulless pumpkins, cucumbers, tree kale, onions, and tomatoes. We’re making vegan pesto (from this recipe for broiled tomatoes), and watching our pomegranates swell. We’re scattering cilantro and arugula seeds from spent plants, and scouring the interwebs for more zucchini recipes. It’s time to can, dehydrate, and freeze summer’s harvest as fall comes into view. It’s time to prep beds for fall planting (see below) and clean up the garden as summer wanes.

We’ve added 3 new classes for fall, and I’ll be speaking about Bees and Pollinators at the 2018 Heirloom Expo in Santa Rosa, CA on Sept. 12. Make plans to attend this event. It is “running away to the circus” for gardeners. If you haven’t yet, please sign my petition to bring back the BioStack composter, and stay cool out there!

Happy Summer Gardening,



2. Fall Garden Prep and Classes

Broccoli, cabbage and more grow under lights for October planting.
Broccoli, cabbage and more grow under lights for October planting.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: fall is the best growing season. Cool-weather crops love the chilly temperatures and rainfall. They practically grow themselves. It’s time to plan your fall garden for mild-winter climates. Here’s our annual fall crop list for your enjoyment:

Lettuces: loose-leaf and head varieties.

Greens: arugula, mustard greens, collards, spinach, and Swiss chard.

Herbs: parsley – flat and curly, cilantro, thyme, fennel, mint, sorrel, and lovage.

Brassicas (in mild climates): broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and kohlrabi.

Root vegetables: carrots, parsnips, beets, turnips, and radishes.

Bulb Vegetables: Green onions, and Garlic! Grow your year’s supply of garlic in as little as 4 square feet.

Vines: Peas, and sweet peas (for color).

Green manure crops: these are cover crops that lock in nitrogen and that build up the soil: fava beans, clover, hairy vetch, and the like. Dedicate one raised bed per fall season for this wonderful soil builder and you will have a loamy foundation to start with in spring. Check out for their wonderful selection of cover crops.


If you need help figuring out where to put everything, join in one of our two Fall Garden Planning Workshops on Sept. 8 and Nov. 4th. We also have a Composting Webinar on August 30th for those who aren’t local. And our ever-popular Basic Organic Gardening course at Santa Monica College is coming in October. Join in to gain knowledge and confidence in the garden.

3. Gardenerd Tip of the Month – Ripening Ground Cherries

Tiny tomatillo-like fruits are oddly sweet and savory at the same time.

We received a great question about green ground cherries this week. Read our blog post for the right way to ripen ground cherries that fall prematurely.

Green Ground Cherries

4. Gardenerd Product of the Month – Jr. Spaghetti Tank Top

It’s hot. Stay cool in this Jr. Spaghetti Tank Top from Gardenerd. It comes in 4 colors: white, yellow, pink, and blue. Choose your favorite and let the coolness begin! Get yours today.

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

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