What to Grow in a Garden in August

Image of a zucchini vine with yellow blooms with a green banner that reads what to grow in august.

Late summer is a great time to grow plants and seeds for a fall garden. Here are some ideas about what to plant in August.

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Here are some tips on what to grow in a vegetable garden in August.

August is still a great time to grow a vegetable garden, especially if you live in a place with a mild, long growing season. Late summer is a great time to add plants, and to sow seeds for plants, that grow well in a late summer or fall garden.

Depending on how long your growing season is, you may be able to succession plant popular plants like cucumbers and green beans. Succession planting is a great way to increase the yield of a garden.

Many summer squash varieties mature in about 60 days during a warm summer growing season. If you live in a place that has warm fall weather, then you may be able to grow one last summer squash crop if you plant squash seedlings in the garden in early August (just keep an eye out for powdery mildew, squash bugs, and other squash pests and diseases).

Now is a great time to buy plants to grow in a fall vegetable garden. Look for cool weather tolerant plants like broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower to grow.

Leafy greens, like arugula, lettuce, kale, mizuna, and Swiss chard are easy to grow from seed and make great fall garden plants. Heat tolerant salad greens may be another option for vegetables to grow in August.

August can also be a great time to sow seeds for cold hardy root vegetables, like beets, carrots, parsnips, radishes, and turnips.

Tip: When growing carrots, look for more cold tolerant varieties that mature in about 60 to 70 days, to have a better chance of harvesting carrots before cold weather sets in.

Keep in mind that day length decreases during fall, causing many plants to slow their growth. Look for early maturing plant varieties to have a better chance of harvesting fruits and vegetables before frost occurs.

Plants to Start from Seed

If you have a few months left to grow a garden before frost occurs, here are some plants to consider starting from seed in August.

  • Arugula
  • Beans, Green
  • Beets
  • Bok Choy
  • Carrots
  • Collard Greens
  • Corn Mache
  • Cucumbers
  • Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Mizuna
  • Mustard Greens
  • Peas
  • Radishes
  • Spinach
  • Swiss Chard
  • Turnips
  • Basil
  • Cilantro
  • Dill

Plants to Start from Transplants

Plants that require a longer growing season may still be grown, but it is probably best to grow these plants from seedlings or transplants, instead of from seeds. Also, you may find that it is easier to grow plants from transplants instead of seeds.

When planting at this time, we look for plant varieties that mature in about 60 to 70 days to have a better chance of harvesting food before the first frost occurs.

Plants to Grow from Transplants or Seedlings

  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Chinese Cabbage
  • Kohlrabi
  • Leeks
  • Potatoes* (start from seed potatoes)
  • Summer Squash
  • Tomatoes, Cherry
  • Chives
  • Fennel
  • Oregano
  • Parsley, Curly
  • Rosemary
  • Sage, Garden
  • Thyme, Winter

What Herbs to Grow in August

August is a great time to plant heat-loving herbs like basil and rosemary. Plants that tolerate cool weather, like chives, curly parsley, garden sage, and winter thyme, can also be planted at this time.

What Flowers to Grow in August

Flowers make a great addition to the late summer garden. In addition to adding beauty and color to a garden, flowers provide nectar and food for beneficial insects and birds.

Look for fast-growing varieties of flowers like asters, cosmos, gaillardia, marigold, Mexican sunflower (Tithonia), rudbeckia, sunflower, and zinnias. Start with transplants to have a better chance of seeing blooms before frost hits.

More Tips for Growing Plants in August

  • Know the expected first frost date for your area. Many plants are frost-sensitive and may be killed by frost. Work back from the first expected frost date to estimate if you have enough time for plants to mature before frost occurs.
  • Planting seedlings may be best, to increase chances of allowing plants to mature and produce a harvest before temperatures drop too low for plants to grow in the garden. You can often order plants online or find them at a local garden center.
  • It may be necessary to provide shade for plants during the hottest parts of the day. Keep plants well-watered to help keep them happy.
  • Watch out for late season pests and diseases, like tomato hornworms, squash vine borers, and powdery mildew.
  • Many late season plants can be grown in containers. Growing plants in containers can make it easier to move the plants around as sunlight patterns and temperatures change. Also, August can be a great time to start plants for a fall container garden.

This post was all about ideas for what to grow in August in a vegetable, herb, or flower garden.

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  • Photo by Kelly Neil / Unsplash
  • Photos are for illustrative purposes only.

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