Gardens Illustrated
What to plant in August
© Claire Harrup

What to sow and plant in August

Published: July 29, 2022 at 8:33 am
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Head gardener Benjamin Pope shares his advice for what you should be planting in August

Head gardener Benjamin Pope is here to make sure your garden looks great all year round. His practical gardening magazine column series continues all year round, and his tips on what to plant in July are a taster of what you can expect. For the full column, subscribe to Gardens Illustrated magazine.

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Don't miss our suggestions of the best flowers in August, what gardens to visit and the gardening jobs for the month.

Discover what is in the August issue of Gardens Illustrated

What to plant in August

As summer continues, both planting and seed sowing slow down in the productive garden. Most biennials should have already been sown but, I’d still give foxgloves and verbascums a go; both will grow quickly in the cooling months to come.

However, now is a good time to sow autumn and winter salads and leaves, so that they reach a substantial size before the days become short. Good cultivars include lettuces ‘Winter Density’ and ‘Winter Gem’, grown alongside mustard ‘Red Frills’, rocket and the very hardy lamb’s lettuce ‘Favor’. I also like to do a sowing of beetroot, where the hardy earthy leaves make great additions to salads.

Given a little protection (fleece or polythene tunnel) they will all happily crop through autumn and winter and into early spring. Oriental brassicas and perpetual spinach are other plants that will enjoy the months to come, where day length and temperature make them less likely to bolt.

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Chinese cabbage, pak choi, mibuna and mizuna are worth sowing now, though will appreciate a slightly shady spot if temperatures remain hot.

Authors

Head Gardener of a private garden in West Sussex, Benjamin lectures, writes and judges for the RHS plant trials, whilst creating a market garden in the South Downs.

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