The harvest time has really started: pumpkins, corn, beans, and many other goodies are ready to be harvested! August is a wonderful month to spend soft summer evenings in the vegetable garden and to enjoy everything that grows and thrives. The harvest can be processed into delicious dishes and what is left can be stored for the winter.
Pumpkin plants get larger pumpkins in August, which hide well under the large leaves of the plant. As soon as the pumpkins are the same size as those at the supermarket, they can be harvested. Make sure the stalk does not break off during harvesting, that will keep the pumpkins good for much longer. You can cut the stalk a few centimeters away from the pumpkin with a sharp pruning shear. If the stalk breaks anyway, eat or freeze the pumpkin in blocks as soon as possible. Without the stalk, the pumpkin will rot quickly contrasted with those with the stalk intact. Keep pumpkins with a stalk in a dry place, they will stay for months.
Lettuce and endive plants also do well in August. The days are gradually getting shorten, so the heads of lettuce and endive will grow a bit slower. Certain types of lettuce, such as lamb’s lettuce and winter purslane, can also be sown in August. This way you still have a large amount of lettuce in salads in a few weeks. Every time you harvest a crop or cut some lettuce, enjoy those delicious summer salads. Before you know it, the dark winter months are already at the door.
In August there will probably be a lot of beans left to be harvested. The first string beans are often ready in July, but the plants continue to produce beans for several weeks. you can pick these beans off piece by piece from the plants. They are best when they are still small, larger beans often become slightly tougher and fibrous. Don’t let them hang too long! The extra beans can be frozen.
Also, the corn will probably be ready! Delicious sweet stalks for the barbecue, a real gift from summer! The corn is usually ready when the hairs that rise above the stalk have turned brown. At that moment you can peek between the leaves of the stalk, are the grains already pretty yellow? If so, they are ready to go! Hold the plant and cut or break the stalks off. Corn is best when you harvest the stalks as soon as possible to when you will eat them. The longer you wait, the more inner sugars leave the corn. After harvesting, they will quickly dry out.
If the vegetables grow well, the weeds usually do too! between all the harvesting it is therefore advisable to spend some time now and then on weeding. Especially remove the flowering and almost flowering weeds from the garden, so you can prevent more weeds from sprouting in larger quantities. After all that weeding, enjoy your harvest!