The last days of summer for many parts of the country, August can be a mix of hot summer-like days and cool nights. Cicadas and grasshoppers buzz, butterflies and bees are in full swing, and many of your flowers have taken a break from blooming in the heat, as the air itself seems to just hang heavy from the humidity!
Gardeners in cooler climates might even start seeing foliage change and need a sweatshirt at night. After all, your first frost date is the beginning of September!
For gardeners in warmer climates, the dog days of summer seem to be showing little in the way of relief from the heat.
But across the country, one thing remains constant - August means peak harvest season is in full swing!
The first August fruits are starting to ripen on branches covered in war-torn, sun-baked foliage that’s tired and ready for fall. Those leaves have been ardently protecting their bounty from the brunt of summer thunderstorms, sun, heat and insect damage - so they may not look the best by now. The temperatures are hot all day and summer may be winding down on the calendar, but you’d never know it when you walk outside and immediately start sweating!
August is high time for a large bounty of fresh summer produce!
Perhaps you are just finishing drying or ‘putting up’ cans of your July bounty and getting ready for more August preserves and goodies from the garden! This is prime tomato and pepper weather with long hot days and, depending on your climate.
Here’s a breakdown of the fruit trees that generally ripen in time for your summer get-togethers, barbecues, and block parties!
Lots of Apples are ripening now and August is the start of Apple season for many parts of the country. August-ripening Apples are great for fresh eating, desserts, preserves, baking and sauces!
No room? Try a North Pole Columnar Apple or the Tangy Green Urban and Tasty Red Urban!
While typically a June and July harvest, Apricots have a few August-ripening cultivars available in this group of fruit trees! Again, your growing zone and climate will have a lot to determine when ripeness is achieved.
Aprium (Plum/Apricot Hybrid)
Cherries are usually a June crop and usually, most trees are done fruiting by the hot summer months. However, there are a few exceptions to that rule! Especially in cooler zones with late growing season starts, there are a few lingering trees that are still ready for harvest.
Warmer climates will see the first Avocados begin to ripen in August!
Most Citrus fruits are harvested in winter, but the exact month depends on the type of Citrus and the climate it is grown in. Limes (Citrus aurantifolia) and Lemons (Citrus limon) ripen all year.
Unique and succulent fruit!
These tropical trees have a long extended harvest throughout the summer months!
Ripening throughout the summer months, August is often the middle of the season for Mangos in warmer climates.
Most Pear varieties are harvested in fall, but August is the start of the earlier Pear-ripening season! The early season tree-ripened summer Pears are winding down but may still be on the tree. Many Pears including Chojuro, Fan-Stil, Southern Bartlett and Hosui start ripening in the later parts of this month.
Most Peaches and Nectarines are August ripe treats! Depending on the hardiness zone they are being grown in, these are very well-known summertime treats!
Typically a later fall crop, Pomegranate begins to ripen in warmer climates in August.
Most Plum and related varieties begging to harvest in August and into fall depending upon the specific varieties and depending upon the climate you are growing in. Often ripening in July, Golden Nectar Plum, Geopride Plumcot and French Petite European Plums remain on the tree and continue to ripen into August as well!
Plumcots and Pluots
Most grafted trees produce fruit their first year in the ground, but you shouldn’t let them so they can focus on establishing roots first.
All of Nature Hills' fruit trees and some shrubs are grafted onto a rootstock which ensures you’ll see your first harvest between 3-5 years of age. We then ship mature root systems that are already at least 3 years of age, so once your plant has been established in your native soil, you’ll not be waiting long for that first harvest!
August is usually hazy, hot summer weather which can make trying to establish a young tree very challenging. But it can be done! For those in cooler climates zones 4 and below, now is prime planting and harvest weather. If you are in a very hot growing zone, it might be best to wait until autumn and things cool off since your area may yet have a couple of months of hot weather remaining.
In any case, with careful watering and frequent attention to the watering detail (sometimes twice a day), you can have a very successful August planting! So that means go ahead and plant!
Harvest dates can vary depending upon where you are growing your plants. Plus the amount of sun available may have some impact on ripening too. You can always check with your local County Agricultural Extension office for information on the best trees for your area!
Keep in mind, that weather patterns, a late or early spring, unpredictable summer temperatures, and your growing zone all greatly affect when fruit trees flower and when the fruit ripens! There is a tremendous amount of variation in ripening dates between zone 4 and zone 9 which can and will greatly affect the harvest times depending upon where you are growing the plants.
August Success Plantings
Be sure to plant in a well-watered location with ample organic and enriched soil. Avoid fertilizer at first, water will be your tree's best friend these first few very hot and steamy months. Saturate the planting area before and after planting your tree then use the finger test to ensure the soil remains moist consistently, checking every couple of days. Sometimes checked daily if you are seeing temperatures over 90°F (32.°C). Very fast-draining soils, even a couple of times a day.
Include Nature Hills Root Booster when planting and top the soil off with 3-4 inches of arborist bark chips covering the ground a couple of feet from the trunk. This helps hold in moisture and keep things on an even keel. It also insulates new roots from the summer heat and lowers evaporation.
Summer is also the best time to prune your tree to shape and control the size, plus remove water sprout growth. Read more about pruning fruit trees here!
End-of-summer barbecues, the last pool parties before school starts, and healthy refreshing treats, all become so much more special with fresh fruit picked from your own backyard! Nothing is quite as wholesome as watching your family pick fresh produce from your own tree in your home edible garden! You’ll know exactly what went into, and onto, your plants!
All of the above trees offer spring blooms, shade, and sometimes fall color and all increase your property value while supplementing your diet with fresh fruit, preserves, delicious baked goods and sauces for all your favorite recipes.
The edible landscaping craze is sweeping the nation! Secure your fresh food access and sustainability, and increase your fresh food variety and availability, regardless of the amount of room you have available! It’s easy with quality fruit trees from Nature Hills! These double-duty trees and plants are not just healthy food for your pantry but also ornamental flowering landscape additions that provide shade and curb appeal as well!
Don’t forget to pick up a suitable pollinator for your fruit tree or shrub should they need a pollination buddy! And check out high-density planting to save even more space! Achieve successful home orchards and kick summer harvests into high gear by including these mid-late season trees in your orchard!
As always, head over to NatureHills.com #ProPlantTips for care and Garden Blog any time to get started!