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What to sow and grow in August

Cornflower ‘Classic Fantastic’ by Thompson & Morgan
August is the best time to prepare your garden for next year's blooms
Image: Cornflower 'Classic Fantastic' from Thompson & Morgan

Enjoy your garden this month while it’s still looking its best and there are so many delicious fruit and vegetables ready to eat. But August is also the time to start planning ahead if you want colourful autumn and winter blooms, or plenty of produce for your plate over the colder months.

Here’s what you should be sowing and growing in August:

Flowers to sow and grow

Viola x williamsiana 'Brush Strokes' from Thompson & Morgan
Sow overwintering violas now for springtime displays
Image: Viola x williamsiana 'Brush Strokes' from Thompson & Morgan

Here are the flowers to sow and grow this August:

Herbs & vegetables to sow and grow

Cabbage 'Tundra' F1 Hybrid (Winter Savoy) from Thompson & Morgan
Give your winter cabbages plenty of room!
Image: Cabbage 'Tundra' F1 Hybrid (Winter Savoy) from Thompson & Morgan

Here’s what to sow and grow in the vegetable garden this August:

In the greenhouse / indoors

  • 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 make sowings of dwarf beans such as 'Speedy' for an autumn crop.

Direct sow outdoors

  • • Winter-hardy spring onions such as 'White Lisbon' and 'Performer' should be direct sown now for crops next spring.

  • Radishes are very quick to crop - continue to make more direct sowings this month for an autumn harvest. Alternatively try sowing winter radishes.

  • Keep sowing salad leaves outdoors for a continuous harvest.

  • Make final sowings of spring cabbages such as 'April' and 'Durham Early' into seedbeds now - they’re a great crop to have next April when not much else is ready to eat!

  • Swiss chard can be sown in drills now for autumn 'baby leaves' or to over-winter for a spring crop.

  • Corn salad is a fully hardy crop which can be sown outdoors now for cropping throughout the autumn and winter.

  • Now is an ideal time to direct sow pak choi as it’s prone to bolting if grown before midsummer.

  • • There’s still time to make direct sowings of fast-maturing carrots such as 'Adelaide'.

  • Make a last sowing of endive outdoors for use as salad leaves.

  • • For something more unusual try growing kohl rabi in a well prepared bed - it will be ready in as little as 8 weeks after sowing.

  • Make a final sowing of turnips in drills now.

  • Direct sow spinach 'Perpetual' now for autumn and winter cropping.

  • Sow raddichio outdoors for use as an autumn salad leaf.

Plant outdoors

  • Plant out summer/autumn cauliflowers early in the month for an autumn harvest.

  • Finish planting out winter cabbages early in the month, allowing about 45cm between plants as they get quite big!

  • Finish planting out kale for winter and spring cropping.

Fruit to sow and grow

Strawberry ‘Elsanta’ from Thompson & Morgan
Ensure you get a good first season crop by planting strawberries now
Image: Strawberry 'Elsanta' from Thompson & Morgan

Try growing these fruits this month:

  • Plant newly pot 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.

Keep one step ahead - what to order this month

Calendula officinalis 'Pink Surprise' from Thompson & Morgan
Order calendula for a bright addition to your garden
Image: Calendula officinalis 'Pink Surprise' from Thompson & Morgan
RedEye