As summer peaks, the savvy gardener starts to ponder their veggie patch. August in the UK, with its unique climate, presents a particular set of opportunities for the green-thumbed enthusiast. The soil is still warm, the days are still long, and there’s a plethora of planting possibilities. In particular, there are plenty of vegetables to grow in August and we’ve rounded up some of the best.
So, what are we waiting for? Let’s shake a “leek” and find out what they are.
For those who like their salads with a peppery kick, this sun-loving leafy green is just the ticket. And, while mature heads take around three months, the leaves are ready to pick within a month, making it the kind of quick crop that shines as a veg to plant in August. It can even be blanched to take the edge off the bitterness. Still not convinced? Well, it takes up very little planting space, so what’s to lose?
Sweet, mild and crunchy, kohlrabi is something of an unsung garden hero. Twelve weeks is all it takes to reach full maturity, but cut that in half for the baby veg version. What’s more, as veg to grow in August in the UK, its hardier purple variety can provide a harvest as late as October. Wrapped in paper towel, it can keep in the fridge for up to a fortnight and can be eaten raw, in coleslaw or cooked. Even its leaves are edible, cooked like spinach.
This salad staple may look fragile, but the right lettuces can be sown until September and harvested all the way through to November. There are several lettuce types suitable as veggies to plant in August. Just give them a sunny spot and protect them with cloches, plastic tunnels or fleece and watch them grow.
Added to a stir fry, steamed or sauteed, Pak choi’s mild sweetness is perfect in a variety of dishes, while its leaves are great in salads. A fan of cool, damp conditions, this Chinese cabbage grows fast. All it needs is a sheltered spot and some fleece or cloche protection and the leaves are usually ready in 30 days. It reaches full maturity between 45 and 75 days.
Of the two main types of rocket, salad rocket is milder than the wild variety. It’s also the one to choose as a veg to grow in August. In fact, given its four-week growth time and short cropping period, this is one to sow little and often in small batches, keeping the salad days going through September.
A relative of rocket, radishes are also a great option for veggies to plant in August. Both are members of the mustard family and share a peppery taste and short growing time. What many don’t know about this crunchy brassica is just how many forms and shapes it can take. Yes, there are traditional pink cylinders, but also mini globes and longer versions, ranging from white to red, yellow to black.
There’s hardly ever a bad time to sow cabbages. Indeed, with some careful planning, they can be harvested year round. In terms of the vegetables to grow in August, it’s spring cabbages that are on the menu. Compact and hardy, this variety has what it takes to see through the winter and mature from mid-spring, offering a fresh bounty when most vegetables are yet to arrive. Harvested young, these cabbages add a tender crunch to dishes, or allowed to fully develop, they become a versatile kitchen ingredient. Protection from pests and diseases is key, typically through netting or fleece, alongside rotating crops to maintain soil health.
Vegetables to Plant in August
With autumn’s shorter days and cooler climes around the corner, the wise choices made in August can provide fresh produce well into the winter. From the peppery tang of endive to the sturdy resilience of spring cabbages, there’s a wealth of veg to plant in August to make the most of late summer. With the right care and attention, these vegetables can offer not just sustenance, but also the pleasure of a garden that defies the end-of-summer slowdown.