Updated: Aug 7
As the scorching heat of summer persists, gardening may seem like a disheartening task, but this is the time to start preparing to maximize your fall and winter harvest. You'll find that our August 2023 Phoenix Kitchen Gardens Guide is different than you've seen in the past. Our record-breaking number of days over 110 degrees means we have to adjust our planting schedules and also how we are caring for our gardens. After some research and brainstorming with Master Gardener colleagues, here are my essential tips and guidelines for successful vegetable gardening in Phoenix in August.
Planting in Early August
While it may not feel like summer is even close to being over, it's time to start planning our garden for a bountiful fall harvest. Did you know that there are certain vegetables you can sow directly into the garden as early as August?
Beans like black-eyed peas, green snap, lima, pinto, soy, and tepary, along with carrots, celery, cucumber, onion (bulb and multiplier types), and turnips, are fantastic options that can handle the heat.
Direct sowing means planting seeds directly in a garden or container, skipping the step of starting them indoors and transplanting them later. Many types of seeds don't benefit from starting indoors, while others require it.
Planting Around August 15
Mid-month is the time to expand your garden variety to maximize your fall and winter harvest! In addition to the vegetables mentioned above, you can also sow beets, bok choy, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage (Chinese and standard green), cauliflower, collards,and kale.
To ensure a successful planting, it's crucial to consider the ideal time frame and soil conditions. This year, with extreme heat, it's advisable to select varieties that have shorter days to maturity. You may need to slightly adjust your usual planting dates for your fall 2023 harvest plans, so keep an eye out for the ideal temperatures for seed germination, typically found on the back of seed packets.
Transplanting in Mid- August
Don't forget about tomatoes and tomatillos! If you prefer transplanting over direct sowing, this is the perfect time to plant these delicious additions to your garden. Just remember, while Phoenix temperatures are still well over 100 degrees, keep an eye on your plants for signs of stress. A little extra water and shade cloth are your friends this month!
Just when we started to think summer here in the Valley never changes, record breaking temperatures have challenged us this July. But I can tell you that with just a few adjustments made to how we would usually tackle gardening in August, we can still lay the framework for a flourishing fall and winter harvest in Phoenix. To learn about how I'm planning and implementing a garden now for a fall harvest, check out my 2023 Fall Garden Plan right HERE. I've tailored this years guide to the unique challenges posed by the record-breaking number of days over 110 degrees. By adjusting our planting schedules and implementing new care strategies, we can absolutely ensure success in vegetable gardening during this time! From sowing beans and carrots to cultivating cucumbers and onions, there are plenty of heat-tolerant options that can thrive in the Phoenix heat. With careful planning and these essential tips and guidelines, you can create a productive and resilient garden that yields delicious results even in the face of extreme temperatures.
Ready for a garden adventure, but not sure where to start? Head to the PKG homepage or call 602-722-7971 to book a consultation.