Even though it’s August already, you could still get started on a garden plot. Even starting with sod!
Rather than strenuous double digging, it’s easier to build gardens on top of the sod lasagna-style.
By laying down corrugated cardboard and layers of organic material such as leaves, straw, manure, seaweed, kitchen scraps, finished compost etc., you can turn the sod into compost and let the worms do the work of creating the soil.
The lasagna method has the added benefit of not disrupting all the beneficial organisms – including soil bacteria and fungi – that live and work in the soil and help plants grow. Fertile soil is a living assembly of microorganisms and minerals.
You could even get a yield this year if you add some fast growing crops and let the roots help develop the soil as they burrow down through the layers.
A cover crop such as buckwheat could be planted now to get things going. It will die with the frost. Winter rye could also be planted in the fall. It will survive the winter and will need to be turned under in early spring.
There are things you can grow for winter harvest, or for overwintering to grow in spring, if you build a cold frame or mini hoop tunnel such as mizuna, radishes, spinach and lettuce. If you can’t find seeds in the stores anymore, ask us as we may have some.
A great book to consult is Niki Jabbour’s The Year-Round Vegetable Gardener: How to Grow Your Own Food 365 Days a Year, No Matter Where You Live. She lives and gardens in the Tantallon area, and if she can do it, we can do it.