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Fruit & vegetable growing guide for August

25th August 2021

August normally brings the best of the summer weather and it is one of the hottest and driest months in the UK. The month is also traditionally the most popular holiday month and that means it can be hard to stay on top of your vegetable plot and garden when you are away for a fortnight of the month.

With the warm weather normally experienced across the UK during this time of year, people spend a lot of their time in their gardens. The great thing about gardening is that it can be enjoyed by all, including those who suffer from mobility issues that need stair lifts to get around their home.

As part of a series of guides describing the best fruit and veg to plant in each month of the year, this article looks at August.

Whilst the main sowing part of the year may have passed, there are lots of things that you can sow and harvest in August. Here we take a look at the fruits and vegetables to plant in August.

Vegetables to plant in August in the UK

There are a few things that you can sow in August and this ranges from Spring Cabbage and Chinese Cabbage to lettuce, spinach and spring onions. Surprisingly, these are all fairly hardy plants.

Below are some of the vegetables you could plant in August.

Cauliflower and cabbage

The first summer and autumn cauliflowers will be developing heads by now and both summer and red cabbages will also be developing at this time of year. When the heads on the cabbages are solid and dense, they will be ready to harvest.

Thompson & Morgan, who are the UK's largest mail-order seed and plant company, talk a bit more about planting these vegetables outdoors in August as well as kale.

“Plant out summer/autumn cauliflower ‘All The Year Round’ early in the month for an autumn harvest.

“Finish planting out winter cabbage ‘Winter Jewel’ early in the month, allowing about 45cm between plants as they get quite big!

“Finish planting out kale plants for winter and spring cropping.”

Lettuces, parsley and dwarf beans

The month of August can be a testing time for lettuces in your garden as the hot and dry conditions that are often experienced in the UK during this time of year mean that they’ll certainly bolt. It is therefore vital that you keep them well watered and harvest them regularly.

Thompson & Morgan explain why they think lettuce, parsley and dwarf beans are other vegetables you can consider planting in August.

“Sow winter lettuce such as 'Arctic King' or 'Winter Gem' in modules to plant out later this month.

“Sow parsley, coriander and chervil in seed trays now for growing under glass throughout the winter.

“If you have a greenhouse, you can still sow dwarf beans such as 'Delinel' for an autumn crop.”

Onions

Onion and shallot seeds can be sown in August or September as well as from January to March. If you have spring onions then you can also sow winter-hardy ones from August to October.

If you planted onions earlier in the year then they may be ready for harvesting. You can tell that they are ready when their leaves turn yellow and start to bend over and all you need to do is to lift and dry them thoroughly before you bring them in.

Grow Veg speak about why growing onions is a great idea: “Onions are a must-grow vegetable. Why? Well, where to begin! To start, onions are very easy to grow and, properly prepared, bulbs will store reliably for up to six months. As with potatoes, there’s something deeply satisfying about the weighty harvest you can get from even a small area, and as the starting point to so many recipes there’s every reason to grow your own.”

Carrots

If you want to plant carrots in your garden, then late July and August are seen as great times to sow them as it gives the seeds the best opportunity of producing carrots in the autumn.

Carrots are usually ready about 12-16 weeks after sowing and if you have planted them earlier in the year, then August in the UK is a perfect time to harvest them. You should harvest them as soon as they are large enough to use and you can just lift the roots carefully when harvesting them. If you have soil that is heavy, then you should either use a fork or ask a friend or family member to help you.

The RHS explain why carrots are a great vegetable to grow: “Carrots are quick and easy to grow, taking up little space, and can even be grown in containers. Sow small batches regularly for cropping from early summer through to autumn.”

All the vegetables you can plant in August

  • Brussels sprouts (for a spring harvest)
  • Beetroot
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots (late varieties)
  • Cauliflower
  • Dwarf beans
  • Lettuces
  • Onions
  • Parsley
  • Turnips (late varieties)

READ MORE: Fruit & vegetable growing guide for July

Fruit to plant in August

If there is a prolonged dry spell in August, then you will need to water any fruit bushes and trees that you have. Apples and currants need watering just as much as leafy vegetables and it is important to give them a good soaking instead of little sprinkles.

You should also consider carrying out tasks such as pruning fruit trees and bushes and ensure that the base of trees is weed and grass free. You can also look at protecting autumn raspberries with netting to protect them from birds before the fruits arrive.

Strawberries

Strawberries grow best in soil that is fertile and well-drained but can hold in moisture. Thin soils that dry out quickly during periods of dry weather, which is more common in August, are not good if you are intending to plant strawberries.

The planting season for strawberries is from August to September as this will give the plants enough time to develop a good rooting system before winter sets in.

If you plant this early you can harvest a crop of large strawberries in June or July the following year.

Thompson & Morgan adds: “Plant newly potted grown strawberry plants (or your own runners as soon as they have rooted) in an area where you haven’t grown strawberries for three years or more to avoid disease. Planting now will allow them to establish well before winter.”

Other gardening jobs to be done in August

Whilst there isn’t a huge amount of planting that can be done in August, there are still loads of other jobs that you can do in the garden in August.

If you have early-cropping varieties of apples, then they will be ready this month, so if they have changed colour they could be ready to pick but the only real way to see is to pick one and taste it.

If you had previously planted blackberries then they will also be ready to pick now as well as boysenberries, loganberries, tayberries and veitchberries.

Other fruits such as blackcurrants and blueberries will also have ripened enough and will likely be ready to be picked in August. It is, however, important that you check their colour and check that they are swelled to a full size.

Thompson & Morgan share some more information about other jobs to consider doing in August.

“If you have plants fruiting in containers, make sure you give them a high potash liquid feed to keep them healthy and productive.

“Keep birds and squirrels off your berries with netting or old net curtains. Protect your crops with a bird scarer made from CDs tied to strings.

“Harvest your fruit trees — cherries, plums, peaches, nectarines and apricots should all be ripe now! Early varieties of apple trees will be ready towards the end of the month.

“If you have a glut of autumn raspberries, blackberries or loganberries, freeze them on trays for a couple of hours and then bag them up to use over winter.

“Tidy up strawberry plants and remove any old straw from around the plants to improve ventilation and reduce the risk of pests and diseases.

“Cut back the fruited canes of your summer raspberries, leaving the new green canes for next year's crop. Tie in next year's raspberry canes to support wires or fencing.”

READ MORE: A guide to growing fruit and vegetables at home

This article looks at just some of the fruit and vegetables you can plant in August and the jobs you should consider doing during the month. For more tips and blogs like these then head to our news section.

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.