Learn What To Plant In August For The Ideal Vegetable Garden

vegetables to plant in august


Mastering my annual garden plan and preparing what to plant in August has resulted in just the right combination of vegetables in my end-of-summer garden. If you’re just getting started it’s pretty simple because August is an ideal planting time for most growing zones.

The weather is still hot enough in August to squeeze in a few summer crops that will harvest quickly. Plus, the weather will gradually cool off in the months ahead, but the soil will stay warm even as autumn begins, allowing any fall plants you start during August to grow strong even into the season of frosts and freezes.

planting vegetables in august
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Hi, I’m Ryan

There’s nothing quite like digging up your own food. Once I started gardening, I was hooked on homegrown fresh vegetables, and I’ve never looked back. Still, every year, I consult my charts to decide what vegetables to plant in August — it’s a helpful tool for me and anyone looking to grow a late-summer garden.

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What’s The Best Way To Pick What To Plant In August?

What is The Best Way To Pick What To Plant In August

Learning what to plant in August will help you take advantage of the remaining long days that are packed with the most sunlight your garden will get until next spring. Choosing just the right plants will fill your garden with colorful, leafy greens, root veggies, and Brussels sprouts, while also giving you a jump start on your fall garden with peas, leeks, carrots, and more that will be ready to harvest through autumn and into winter.

what to plant in summerThough summer is still going strong through August, I like to use this month to extend my warm-weather harvests and plan ahead for what I’ll be harvesting when the leaves fall and the frost sets in.

Something to keep in mind when you’re picking what to plant in August for your garden is the first frost date in your area. Where I live in North Carolina, that’s usually right at the beginning of October, which means I have two solid months to grow my August crops before the first frost. I can also start thinking about fall crops to plant in August.

Being aware of your first frost date will help you plan wisely, as you’ll know which plants must be harvested before the cold snaps come and which plants will survive the early frosts and continue producing.

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What Vegetables Can You Plant In August From Seed?

Vegetables To Plant In August From Seed

For many of us, August is a month of hot days with slightly cooler evenings, making it ideal weather for starting most of your seeds outdoors. Veggies like peas, lettuce, scallions, cucumbers, and many more will thrive when they’re seeded directly into the warm garden soil.

However, not all veggies will do well directly seeded into your garden. Some of the seeds that don’t do well directly sown include Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, radishes, beets, artichokes, carrots, turnips, and broccoli.

For this reason, I start these more delicate seeds indoors while still taking advantage of the sunny August days by setting my pots and seedling trays outside for some direct sunlight during the morning or evening hours. I always move them back indoors overnight and during inclement weather to allow their roots to grow strong.

Planting vegetable seeds In August

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When Should I Start To Seed Collect in August?

Seed collecting is a great way to keep your garden as low-cost and self-sustaining as possible. As your spring and summer plants stop producing and start turning to seed, keep an eye on the seeds to note when they’ve reached maturity. Wait for a dry, sunny afternoon to harvest the seeds, and then lay them out in the sun to fully dry before storing and labeling them for next year.

Maximizing Your August Harvests

Maximizing Your August Harvests

When considering what vegetables can be planted in August and which are perfect for your garden, consider your goals and if you’ll be doing multiple harvests. If your primary goal is squeezing in some late-summer veggies, you can follow the early harvest list below. Or, if you want some fall crops to plant in August for later autumn and winter harvests, you can skip down to my autumn harvest list.

On my homestead, I always plant a few late-summer crops and some vegetables that I’ll harvest throughout the cooler months to get the most out of my garden. Let’s take a look at when your fresh August veggies will be ready to eat.

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What Can I Plant In August To Produce Multiple Harvests?

What Can I Plant In August To Produce Multiple Harvests

I’ve listed some quick-turn-around vegetables to plant in August to extend your summer harvests. Many of these veggies will produce into the fall, but when planted in August, they can also be ready before summer’s end.

What Vegetables Can You Plant In August For Early Harvests?

  • Radishes will be ready to harvest 25 to 35 days after planting
  • Mustard Greens will be ready to harvest around 30 days after planting
  • Swiss chard will be ready to harvest 30 to 45 days after planting
  • Lettuces will be ready to harvest 7 to 56 days after planting, depending on the variety
  • Bok choy will be ready to harvest about 45 days after planting
  • Spinach will be ready to harvest 45 to 70 days after planting
  • Turnips will be ready to harvest 45 to 70 days after planting
  • Broccoli will be ready to harvest 50 to 60 days after planting
  • Beans will be ready to harvest 50 to 65 days after planting
  • Kohlrabi will be ready to harvest about 55 days after planting

Fall Crops To Plant In August

Once you’ve accounted for your fast-growing plants, the next step is to consider what fall crops you’d like to plant in August. Plenty of veggies will still benefit from August’s warm sun and soil when they start growing while remaining strong through the fall. Many of these plants also produce through the winter.

Vegetables To Plant In August For Autumn Harvests

  • Collards: 60 to 80 days
  • Parsley: 70 to 90 days
  • Carrots: 70 to 80 days
  • Scallions: 70 to 85 days
  • Brussels sprouts: 80 to 90 days

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Maintaining Your August Vegetable Garden

Maintaining Your August Vegetable Garden

As the warm and hot days slow, August represents a time of transition for you and your garden plants — including your weeds. I’ve got a few tips for keeping your garden clean, healthy, and vibrant through the summer and into the fall.

Tips And Tasks For Transitioning To August

Get Serious About Weeds: During late summer and early autumn, your weeds are going to start producing thousands of seeds that, if left unchecked, you’ll have to deal with next year. Don’t let them get out of hand, and get the weeds out of your vegetable garden quickly throughout August to keep them from going to seed in your soil.

Remove Dead Organic Matter: Any fallen, decaying vegetables or dead plants will attract pests and diseases to your garden. Clean up any dead plant matter and add it to your compost pile.

Water In The Morning: As the sun is still hot, your soil will be very thirsty, but you’ll want to avoid getting the plants wet during the middle of the day to prevent scorching and too late into the evening to prevent the water sitting on the soil throughout the night, which can cause plant diseases and mildew.

Remember that you can return to this chart again and again as you plan out what to plant in August in your garden. You can try some of these options, switch them out for others the following year, and print and markup this chart to guide you. If you’re looking for more gardening tips, my chart for summer planting is a next-level, comprehensive guide for the whole season.

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Your Turn!

  • What are your favorite fast-harvest vegetables to plant in August?
  • How far have some of your August plants lasted into the colder months?

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