Most gardeners are focused on harvesting in August, and rightfully so. From carrots, potatoes and summer squashes, salad leaves, berries and so many other fruits. There’s an endless list of things to be taken from plot to plate this month.
However, as your garden gradually gets emptier with every harvest, it doesn’t have to feel like the beginning of the end. Just as it’s the month of plenty to harvest, there are still a few plants to plant and seeds to sow in August.
So, whether you’re already anticipating next year’s garden, or you can’t quite shake away this year’s green fingers; read on and discover what you can start to keep your garden on a roll.
Fruits to Sow or Plant in August
The only fruits to plant this month are Strawberries. And that’s only if you haven’t already had enough of an abundant harvest throughout summer.
While it’s early days, planting strawberries in August allows plants to establish themselves. This helps them to withstand the first frost and enduring winter weather.
Planting them early also means you’ll benefit from a greater harvest of fruits come next year. So, if you’re on board with starting your strawbs in August, check out the following tips for growing strawberries:
- 1 Before you plant anything, make sure you can grow new strawberries in an area or location where you haven’t grown strawberries for at least 3 years. Crop rotation is important if you want to avoid plant diseases.
- 2 Keep a lookout for new strawberry plants at garden centres. These will be ready for you to plant. If you’re growing strawberries from existing runners, they’re ready for planting as soon as they have rooted.
- 3 Strawberries love the sun! So be sure to plant them in a sunny area. However, because it’s still summer, you’ll need to plant them early in the morning or in the evening to prevent excess sun exposure and heat damage.
- 4 Hydration! Remember, it’s summer. You’ll need to keep your plants well-watered if you want them to survive.
Flowers to Sow or Plant in August
If flower gardening is more of your thing, then August is a great time to plant for either Autumn or Spring blooms. If you’re hoping for a vibrant garden of autumn flowers, August is your last chance to get sowing/planting. So, let’s no waste any time; here are 4 flower varieties to start this month with a few growing tips:
From ‘Pot Marigolds’ to ‘Art Shades’, Calendulas are a widely popular flower to plant in August. And rightfully so!
Their toasty orange and yellow petals make the perfect colours to transition from summer to autumn. Coupled with the fact they’re frost hardy; these are a breeze to care for as the months get colder. When sowing, position them in a sunny area with moisture-retaining soil.
Larkspur (Giant Imperial Mixed)
Giant Imperial Larkspur can be sown anytime between August and October. Wonderfully easy to grow, their frost hardiness allows sprouted seedlings to last up until spring. Only requiring partial shade and decent soil with good drainage.
These flowers are a great addition for attracting pollinators in a vegetable garden. They’re also suitable for cutting once flowered. However, keep them away from pets or young children because they can be harmful if eaten.
Swan River Daisy
Get a head start on next year’s hanging baskets with Purple Splendor Swan River Daisies. These flowers can be sown anytime between now and September. Bringing purple-blue blooms to hanging baskets, window boxes, edges, borders or any other containers you can think of.
Swan River Daisies love to grow in full sun with very fertile, well-draining soil. Aside from their charming colour, purple splendour varieties also give off a sweet scent.
Vegetables to Sow or Plant in August
Calabrese or ‘sprouting broccoli’ can be sown anytime between March and August. Which means this is your last chance to get them going. If you’ve already grown some this year, you’ll be pleased to know you can continue to sow them successively until late summer. Better yet, sow the Rabe 60 days variety now and you should have a harvest just before winter starts.
These crops love well-rotted manure or compost, sitting in a full sun area with well-draining soil. To get started, check out Gardener’s World’s step-by-step guide to growing Calabrese.
Those of you looking to grow carrots have Autumn King 2, Marion F1 and Nantes 5 as your top picks to sow this month. Autumn King 2 and Marion F1 will keep well underground while overwintering and Nantes 5 are an obvious classic for an early crop.
All carrot varieties love deep and fertile soil, with a slightly sandy texture. This is something to be aware of with autumn approaching and soil becoming clammier.
Make sure carrot beds are well prepared before sowing if you’re not growing any carrots in containers. Soil should be lightweight and stone-free to avoid stunting crop growth and be sure to treat the soil with a nutrient-rich fertiliser at least a week before sowing.
With the majority of the growing season out of the way, now is a great time to attempt to grow something different. Over the years there’s been an increasing interest in growing oriental greens. Understandably, when these vegetables fit so well into a range of popular dishes from stir-fries to salads.
Why not try your hand at growing Japanese Spinach Hohei, Mizuna (think of it as an oriental version of rocket), or lush green leaves of Pak Choi You Qing Choi. These plants rely on your TLC. Factors such as over/under watering and sudden changes in weather can shock them. However, with proper care, these crops will provide a satisfying harvest. So, don’t let the care they require put you off.