From Mélie’s Garden 2013
“A garden is always a series of losses set against a few triumphs, like life itself.” May Sarton
In August you really see what worked and what didn’t in this year’s garden. It is time to make difficult decisions of what to keep, transplant or dig out and discard. After the 15th of August it is safe to move perennials, shrubs and trees. The best method is to dig a hole for the plant and fill it with water and let the water seep into the earth. You then put the plant in to hole and put in more water, so the roots get a good drink. Once the water has been absorbed, you cover up the plant with soil and water again. This is called “puddle planting” and it is a good method to use in the warm weather months. If you are planting a tree and it is in a difficult place to keep watered by hose, buy one of the new watering bags and put it around the trunk of the tree. Fill the bag with water and it will gradually seep into the earth and keep the tree well watered. Once the bag is empty you fill it up again.
This month, make some notes of changes you want to make in the garden for next year. Now is the time to do it, because ideas are often forgotten over the long winter months and you will be happy to have that list in the spring.
Plant vegetable seeds up to September first for fall crops. Fishers Island has a lovely long fall; so cool weather vegetables can be harvested well into October.
If you have an over abundance of zucchinis this August, make a delicious Zucchini Relish. It is an old favorite Fishers Island recipe and is very good to serve with chicken or pork.
Fishers Island Zucchini Relish
10 Cups of thinly sliced zucchini
4 Cups of thinly sliced onions
5 Tablespoons of salt
Combine and let stand over night. Drain and rinse in cold water and dry. Put the onions and zucchini in a large pot and add:
2 Cups of vinegar
1 Tablespoon of turmeric
4 Cups of sugar
1 Tablespoon of cornstarch
1 Tablespoon of nutmeg
2 Teaspoons of pepper
1 Tablespoon of dry mustard
2 Red bell peppers seeded and chopped
Cook for 30 min. until somewhat thick and pour into sterile canning jars. Seal with sterile lids and process in a hot water bath for 15 minutes covering the tops by 2 inches of water. Let the jars cool and tighten the tops. The relish will last up to a year if processed properly. Once open, refrigerate!