Get planting (Picture: Getty/Metro.co.uk)
If you’re lucky enough to have a garden, you can’t go wrong with growing your own fruit and veg, especially amid a cost of living squeeze.
While August can feel like one long Sunday before the inevitable cold and unfriendly weather come autumn, there are tons of gardening jobs to do in August, including planning ahead and sowing and planting for the months to come.
The best foods to plant in August
While many plants don’t survive the winter frost, there are a number of great veggies you can begin growing in August, for an autumn, winter or spring harvest.
Beetroot is an ideal crop to plant in August, as its leaves can be used for salad throughout autumn while the roots wait to be harvested in spring.
‘Beetroot can be sown directly into the ground in a sunny spot to save time,’ mindful gardening expert Kendall Platt tells Metro.co.uk.
‘Press a garden cane or other long straight edge into the soil to make a dip,’ she says. This will help you tell the difference between weeds and your seedlings.
‘Then, water along the dip and sow the seed on to damp soil before covering it with soil,’ she continues.
‘Watering the soil before sowing prevents the seeds from being dislodged when you water.’
Beetroot leaves can be eaten throughout winter until the root is harvested in spring (Picture: Getty Images)
Pea shoots like bean sprouts, can be sown indoors and harvested all year round.
‘Simply sow pea seeds into seed trays and keep moist and warm indoors,’ says Kendall.
‘You can harvest the pea shoots for eating after two to three weeks.’
You can also harvest turnips, radishes, pak choi, spinach and Kohlrabi in autumn.
Chinese broccoli is a great cut and come again plant (Picture: Getty Images)
Chinese broccoli is great because it can be grown in an unheated greenhouse over winter, and it only takes between eight and 10 weeks.
‘Seeds can be scattered over the surface of a pot and the leaves harvested as a cut and come again plant,’ says Kendall.
‘This means harvesting the leaves when the plants are small and then letting them grow back to be harvested again, keeping you stocked up with tasty greens for the winter.’
As Kendall notes, the brightly coloured stems of rainbow chard will bring life into your cold winter garden and certainly lift your spirits.
‘Sow these bizarre looking seeds straight in the ground in rows in a sunny position,’ says Kendall.
‘Once seedlings appear, thin the plants to 30cm apart to give them enough room to flourish.’
Chicory and mixed winter lettuce could also be sown in August for a winter harvest.
Plant spring cabbages now for a spring harvest (Picture: Getty Images/EyeEm)
According to Kendall, both white and red varieties of spring cabbage take a while to grow, so sowing them in August will have them ready for harvesting come spring.
‘Sow seeds one per pot into peat free compost,’ she says.
‘Keep well watered and in plenty of sunshine, and plant out around September and October in an area that hasn’t had cabbages growing in it before.’
‘Be sure to cover with insect netting to deter cabbage white butterflies and hungry pigeons over the winter,’ she adds.
Finally, white Lisbon spring onions can be planted in August for an early spring harvest in March.
‘Spring onions can be sown in rows in the ground or in pots,’ says Kendall.
‘Once germinated, thin the seedlings and eat the ones you pull up.
‘Sow seeds every two weeks in new rows or pots for a continuous crop.’
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