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What to Plant in August — 20 Best Ideas

What to Plant in August — 20 Best Ideas

August is among the busiest months in the garden. There are crops to harvest and replant, weeds to pick, and more.

In August, flowers are blooming, fruits are ready for picking, and autumn and winter planting needs planning.

Even though the warmest of gardening seasons are coming to a rapid closure during this month, there is still plenty of time to put more plants in the ground. 

 

What to Plant in August?

In August, the best plants to grow are typically fast-growing crops like leafy green and small root vegetables. Several species of herbs and flowers are also ideal for August planting. Additionally, it is a perfect time for planning what to plant for autumn and winter gardens.

 

Best Vegetables to Plant in August

 

Beets

Beets

August is a great time to plant additional fast-growing root vegetables like beets. Make sure to plant them where they’ll get plenty of sun and water them often. 

For best results, place them in well-draining soil. If you decide to fertilize them, try something with high levels of nitrogen (like chicken manure).

 

Collards

Collards

Another crop to plant in August that grows in full sun and well-draining soil is collards.

Typically planted in the early spring after the last frost, collards can be planted all the way up until the end of summer. 

Collards do exceptionally well in raised beds and containers, in addition, to directly in the ground.

 

Carrots

Carrots

If you’re planting in August, chances are you’ve been gardening all year. If so, August is a great time to pick some of your carrots and replace them with new seeds.

That said, even if you’re just getting started with your garden this summer, it’s still a great time to plant carrots. 

Either way, when planted in late summer, you can harvest carrots in 2-3 months’ time.

If planting carrots for the first time, you may want to do a bit of research first as there are several factors that can make them hard to grow.

 

Kale

Kale

Planting kale in August may not be the most common time frame to do so, but it is more than possible. They grow extremely well in full sun, so better keep this in mind when sowing this plant. 

Make rows and drop a few seeds every foot or two (or poke holes every 18 to 24 inches and put seeds in them).

These leafy greens will start poking out of the ground few weeks later.

 

Lettuce

Lettuce

Like Kale, lettuce may not be the most common vegetable to see folks planting in August, but there are plenty of gardeners who do so. 

Follow the same planting pattern described above and consider staggering planting sessions by 10 to 15 days. That way, you’ll have fresh lettuce popping up every couple of weeks.

 

Radish

Radish

These small root veggies are normally planted in the spring and fall, but they are also an ideal candidate for planting in August. 

Plating radish during the end of the summer, especially if it’s a cooler than usual year, ensures an early fall harvest.

 

Turnip

Turnip

Turnips are another hardy root vegetable that’s perfect for planting any time of the year, including August. These crops grow rather quickly and don’t need any fertilizer. 

That said, turnips do best when you feed them with lots of organic material.

 

Spinach

Spinach

Among the leafy greens to consider planting in August, spinach ranks a bit lower on the list but in cooler climate zones is more than ideal.

Plant them directly in the ground with a spacing of around 12 inches in between each one for the best results. 

Also, keep in mind that spinach should be planted with organic gardening compost for the fastest growth possible.

 

Peas

Peas

One of the most overlooked plants for growing in August is peas, regardless that they do very well during this time.

Plant your peas in rows spaced six to eight inches apart, with two or three inches between each hole. 

You can expect to start harvesting in two to three months from planting time.

 

Best Herbs to Plant in August

 

Arugula

Arugula

August is an ideal time to start planting your fall arugula crops. Sow them 1-1 1/2 feet apart in well-draining soil in a place that receives lots of sunlight. 

For the best yield consider adding some compost to the ground before putting the seeds in.

 

Basil

Basil

As with arugula, basil is a great crop to put into the ground during August. That said, they also do very well in containers and raised beds with compost and potting soil mix. 

Plant basil in shallow rows or holes measuring about one-quarter inch deep. Make sure to give them around 12 to 18 inches apart.

 

Cilantro

Cilantro

Another August-friendly herb to plant in your late summer garden is Cilantro. These tasty herbs need planting a quarter-inch deep and around one foot apart from each other.

At full maturity, they grow between a foot and two feet tall. 

 

Chives

Chives

Before planting chives in August, add organic compost or a bit of fertilizer to your garden for the best results.

Once the soil is prepared, plant chive seeds between eight to ten inches apart. 

Be sure to put them somewhere that receives as much sun as possible. Likewise, they need well-draining soil.

 

Oregano

Oregano

Most gardeners tend to plant this massively popular herb in the spring, or early summer, but August is also acceptable in many climate zones. 

As with chives, these herbs need to be planted in shallow holes spaced approximately eight to ten inches apart from each other.

 

Parsley

Parsley

Soaking parsley seeds for a full day before planting helps ensure a quick germination time. If planting in August, place them in a sunny area with well-draining soil. 

Also, make sure to add plenty of compost or organic materials to the soil before adding the seeds.

 

Sage

Sage

One of the most popular herbs to grow, as it is grown not only for consumption but also for landscaping purposes, is Sage. Plant your sage seed or transplants directly into the ground, or in containers. 

But, first, prepare the planting area with organic material or compost. Water them regularly for quick germinations and growth.

 

Best Flowers to Plant in August

 

Bearded Iris

Bearded Iris

The bearded iris is one of the most suitable flowers to plant in August. To do so, prepare holes between one and two inches deep and place inside with the rhizomes’ (bulbs) roots down. 

Unless you’re in an extremely warm climate zone leave the rhizome top protruding out of the ground. Otherwise, cover the tops of the bulbs with around one inch of soil or less.

 

Daylilies

Daylilies

The daylily is another great flower for planting in August. They require well-draining soil, yet plenty of water.

That means you’ll need to water them quite frequently for the first few weeks they’re in the ground. 

Place them somewhere in your garden that receives 6 hours of daily sunlight at a minimum.

In hotter climate zones, ensure that you plant them where they are shaded during the hottest hours of the day.

 

Hydrangeas

Hydrangeas

One of the most gorgeous flower types to plant in August is hydrangeas. These beauties need planting somewhere that they receive plenty of early-day sun as well as ample afternoon shade.

Otherwise, they may never even sprout.

When transplanting from already established plants, measure the root balls and dig the hole an equal depth to their width.

Make sure to add fertilizer as well. Once in the ground, create a small mound of earth over the roots. 

 

Peonies

Peonies

Typically planted from small tubers, peonies are another excellent flower species for planting in August.

Pick a sunny location and prepare the soil with organic material that retains water but is also well-draining.

Plant your peonies (from tubers) around one to two inches deep. If transplanting full-grown plants, dig and prepare a hole approximately two feet deep and wide.

 

Common August Gardening Chores

  1. Water, water, water
  2. Weed, weed, weed
  3. Harvest fruits, vegetables, and herbs
  4. Deadhead flowers that need it
  5. Replace annual flowers
  6. Replace crops as needed
  7. Plant perennials
  8. Plant fall and early winter crops if possible
  9. Cover crops that need protection from the late summer sun

 

Frequently Asked Questions About Planting in August

 

Is August too hot for planting crops?

Believe it or not, even though August is sometimes the hottest month of the entire year, it is not too hot to plant crops during this summer month. However, many of the crops that are good for planting in August may need planting in shade or another form of protection from the sun.

 

What is the best type of plants to grow in August?

The best sort of plants for August gardening are those which are quick to reach maturity. In addition, semi-hardy plants, autumn harvest, and winter harvest plants are also great candidates for planting in the month of August.

 

Which pests may infest my plants in August?

Most garden pests disappear for the year by the time August rolls around, save a few bugs such as the earworm (corn worm) and cabbage worm. A sprinkling of cinnamon over the tops of your crops and/or biweekly spraying of vinegar and lemon juice may help reduce their numbers.