What to Plant in August – we’d call it the eternal question, but it’s just one month of the year. Summer’s still here, just about, so there’s more sun loving plants to get into the ground before autumn rears its head. And fruit and veg to get ready for harvest in a few months’ time (though the fruit is more like a year and a few months).
If allotments are more your bag than the garden, check out our August Allotment post, otherwise let’s crack on with this month’s flowers and veg!
If you’ve got visions of a rose-covered arbour or a flower-filled trellis, climbing roses are the way to go. They’ll take a bit of time to fill the space, but planting them now will give them their best chance when next spring rolls around. Climbers bear flowers off mature wood, which makes maintenance easier than with many other roses. With larger flowers, nearly all cultivars are likely to repeat flower so their popularity is ever on the rise.
Dig it into a hole twice the size of the pot it came in, fill it with compost, and plant it in at the same depth as the pot was – no sense in burying it further. If you don’t see flowers this year, get ready for a petal explosion next summer.
Winter cherry blossom
Everyone knows the beauty of a cherry blossom tree, and its a yearly moment of magic when the spring blossom falls and fills the air with a pinky-white petal snow. Nowadays you can also get cherry blossoms which flower in winter, so if you’d like to add some colour to your winter garden that isn’t dogwood or holly, you can plant a winter flowering cherry blossom and enjoy those blooms at a second or even third time of year. Add mulch, plant in full sun, don’t compress the soil and don’t overwater – follow those simple tips and you’ll be blooming in no time [when the cherry blossom wants to of course].
Growing with red skin to differentiate them from plain old brown kiwis, hardy kiwis can take the cooler temperatures and still produce fruit before the year ends. Set your eyes on an autumn fruit salad (though quite possible next year’s salad) and follow this guide on planting containerised trees.
Grapes like a south-facing wall, and plant them at least 3ft deep to keep them happy. The hardier the variety you choose the better it’ll survive the upcoming winter, so a variety like Boskoop Glory is a great starter grape.
It doesn’t look anything like a pineapple, but in much the same way that a milkshake doesn’t look anything like a strawberry, the Pineapple Guava name’s in the taste. This tree fruits in late summer and has a pretty blossom too, so you can enjoy pineapple, guava and strawberry flavours when harvest time rolls around. Grow in a greenhouse if your area gets cold a lot, otherwise you can plant in a pot or sunny spot and it’ll grow happily without mush fuss.
Great little salad additions, radishes are some of the fastest-growing vegetables around and good to plant if you’d like some strongly flavoured veg all the way up to October. Sow straight into the ground in rows, add some compost (it’s rare that you shouldn’t), and space them 2.5cm apart about 2cm deep. Don’t water them too much, and you should be ready to harvest in a month and a half.
The irony of planting ‘spring’ onions in August isn’t lost on us, but there are hardy varieties that don’t need all those April showers to keep them springing. Drill them 1.5cm deep and 5cm apart when they’ve sprouted a bit in a seed tray, then enjoy tasty cooking flavours in a month or two’s time. They’re capable of overwintering too, so you can plant them a little later then they’ll spring up (it all makes sense now) at the beginning of next year.
Green and red salad
You can still grow lettuce in August, with baby leaves available quickly for an impatient but still delicious salad. Sow seeds in full sun, 2cm deep and 90cm apart – they can grow pretty big after all! And cover it with netting to keep the birds and pests away, birds love a seed and caterpillars, slugs and snails love leafy veg.