What to Plant in August

With the first breath of summer fading, the question is now asked ‘What to plant in August’?

Many flower and vegetable crops have come and gone but there is still plenty to do before the onset of autumn.

August is a great time to sow seeds in your vegetable patch or on allotments. Sowing and planting out will sustain your season if you choose quick growing crops including salad leaves and radishes. And for those vegetables needing a longer growing time, planting in August will reap rewards in the spring.

August is also an opportunity to get ahead for next year for a top display of beautiful flowers. The warm temperatures are ideal for promoting seed germination for the next season.

Reaping what you sow in the vegetable plot

The seeds for that much-loved salad staple, lettuce, can be sown in August so the plants can be overwintered in greenhouses ready for picking leaves from April through to June.

Wild rocket sown in early August will provide fresh leaves in autumn before they then lie dormant until March when it will put on new growth. Salad rocket stands the best chance of surviving the harsh winter frosts if sown in late August and offers more leaves in winter than wild rocket.

Spinach seeds are also perfect for sowing in late August providing a crop of young leaves in October. They will then go dormant over the winter and revive to provide a fresh crop of leaves in early spring.

Where there is a frost-free greenhouse, or even a bright porch, potatoes can be planted in August and should be ready for Christmas. Spring cabbages can be sown directly outdoors while winter cabbages grown from seed in previous months should be planted out now along with broccoli and kale.

A popular vegetable on top chef’s menus, kohlrabi, can also be sown in August for a late harvest in October. Both the leaves and swollen stems can be eaten, either roasted, stewed or raw.

Last blast of colour in the garden

The ever popular and generous dahlia offers a late splash of colour. They can be planted in August and will flower up to the first frost offering a stunning display of flowers on a backdrop of bronze foliage. Perennial rudbeckias can also be planted at any time of year and offer late colour to the garden.

August is also a good month to sow seeds ready for the year ahead. The warm ground welcomes the new seeds but remember to water them to ensure the best chance of germination.

Calendula, with their vibrant yellow and orange petals, can be sown in August for flowers the following spring. The colourful border plants are hardy so simply sow them where they are to flower either in the ground or in pots.

Wildflowers are popular in gardens both for their look and their contribution to the ecosystem. Cornflowers can be sown in borders in August and will delight with a display the following May. British favourite forget-me-nots, foxgloves, campanula, delphinium and penstemons can be sown in August and will provide an early splash of colour in the spring.

The Poplar Nurseries team are on hand in our garden centre if you have questions or are looking for advice on what to plant in your garden in August.