It’s almost August and you know what that means! Yes – it’s time for us gardening nerds to plant some seasonal vegetables and sow some spring flowers.
While the summer is on its way out after what has potentially been the wettest July of all time, it’s time to look into what we’re planting ahead of autumn and, in the case of some flowers and veggies, ready for next spring.
Which vegetables to plant in August
Whether you’ve been planting vegetables all year round or this is your first foray into vegetable planting, this is an ideal time to be planting leafy greens that don’t take much upkeep but do flourish throughout autumn and come back the following spring. Glorious.
A kitchen staple in many households, the spring onion is surprisingly very easy to grow. You can regrow spring onion from scraps right in your kitchen and then plant once it’s sprouted roots or you can sow spring onion seeds in rows outdoors, covered in 2cm of soil, for a healthy harvest next spring.
If you’re lucky and early enough, your first planting of lettuce could give a beautiful crop before these warm days are over – but, if not, lettuce plants can live through the winter in greenhouses, for picking leaves between April and June next year.
Make sure when sowing lettuce leaves that you scatter them sparingly across the surface of moist, peat-free seed compost and cover with a fine layer of compost. Once they’re big enough to handle, thin them out to around 10-20 cm apart.
If you haven’t got lettuce leaves to hand, note that you can grow lettuce from kitchen scraps.
Spinach is another leafy treat that you can get a quick harvest of before it goes dormant for the winter and flourishes with a new crop in the spring.
When sowing spinach, ensure that it’s sown into well-prepared, fertile soil and cover it with a cloche during the winter.
A hardy, delicious vegetable, the humble turnip doesn’t lay dormant over the winter and, in fact, you can harvest it right before your Christmas dinner – if you’re so inclined.
Sow turnip seeds into moist, well-prepared, drained soil; water during dry weather and harvest when they’re young and small. Yum.
Which flowers to plant in August
Planting flowers in late summer is often an investment for your spring garden, so while you won’t experience the immediate joy of seeing plants flourish over the winter months, you will be welcomed back to spring with a blooming gorgeous garden.
These sweetly named flowers can be sown right through to September. Sow in seeds trays over the winter and plant out in spring for beautiful ground cover and an ideal companion plant for greenery or tulips.
More beautiful blue blooms, cornflowers can be also sown in August for planting directly into peat-free compost or soil in spring.
Don’t let the sunny shades of these flowers fool you: they’re hardy and can be planted directly into soil in August and September and offer a gorgeous bloom in the early spring months.