What to Plant in Your Garden in August

No matter the time of year, there is always something to do in the garden! August is the last real month of summer, and while it may bring milder weather, it’s still a great time of year to exercise our green thumbs!

If you have been gardening throughout the year, you should have a healthy crop to harvest by now. Even if you are only just starting out, August can still create perfect conditions for sowing and planting certain crops, especially in preparation for winter gardening. 

August will also bring its own fair share of jobs; as always, you will need to keep on top of weeds and pests, especially with vulnerable new crops. August is also the time of year to start preparing to scarify your lawn; leave it too late, and your lawn will not have time to recover, which can leave you wide open to weeds.

Remember, gardening takes a great deal of practice and patience. Depending on the size of your garden, you may want to considering hiring a recommended local gardener to help with your garden maintenance. They can also give you advice on garden planting and how to take care of your plants as the weather gets colder. If you need help with simpler tasks, such as weeding or lawn mowing, a handyman should be able to do the job. 

As always, remember to pay close attention to the planting, sowing and maintenance instructions for your plants, and follow them to the letter!

What to sow/plant outside:

If you have been gardening all year round, you will probably spend a fair amount of time harvesting this month. However, there is still plenty that you can add to your garden at this time of year. Gardeners in the south of England may even have enough sunshine to sow quickly maturing summer crops.

To sow - spring cabbage, turnips, overwintering onions, lettuce, radish, rocket, sorrel, chicory, fennel, Swiss chard, Pak Choi, kohl rabi, spinach

To plant - cauliflowers, winter cabbage, kale, garlic 

What so sow/ plant in a greenhouse/ polytunnel

After gardening in June and July, you should by now be used to taking care that plants in your greenhouse have enough water. Even as summer winds down, greenhouses can still overheat, harming the plants inside. On particularly hot days, remember to keep your greenhouse well ventilated and to dampen the inside. 

One thing to keep in mind is encouraging helpful pests, which can be crucial as your healthy crops start to mature. If you find any ladybirds, hover flies or lacewings flying around your garden, transferring them to your greenhouse will be a huge help in protecting your delicious greens.

To sow - winter lettuce, chervil, parsley, coriander, dwarf beans

Jobs to do in August

The summer weather will have done wonders to nurture your crops, but August also means that it’s time to prepare for the returning cold. You may also want to start thinking about how to prepare your garden for when you leave to go on holiday. Depending on how long you leave for, you may even want to consider hiring a local gardener to take of garden maintenance while you are away.

  • The cold and wet months are behind you, so remember to stay on top of mowing your lawn. To give your lawn a fine finish, it is best to mow it around once per week.
  • Another reason to keep mowing your grass is that it will be a big help come September, which is one of the best times of year to scarify your lawn. Try to keep the grass blades well trimmed so that there is not too much resistance when you scarify, but take care not to scalp them completely!
  • The summer heat might be starting to wind down, but you will still need to keep up the watering schedule for your plants. This is particularly important for plants in your greenhouse, which may overheat on hot days. 
  • Remember to keep your greenhouse well ventilated. On particularly warm days you may also want to damp down the greenhouse in order to keep the atmosphere nice and humid for your plants.
  • As always, be sure to keep a close eye out for weeds and remove them as soon as they appear.
  • If you have been composting, remember to keep turning it every few weeks or so.
  • When leaves eventually start to fall, be sure to pick them up and dispose of them. You do not want your let your leaves form a layer, as this will deprive your plants of resources and encourage fungal growth.