August Vegetable Gardening Tips

By August 28, 2023Garden Tips

So Much to Sow in August!
August is a busy, busy month. Many gardeners don’t realize that there’s almost as much planting to do now as there is in the spring. The race is on to finish the last sowings of many summer crops. These include early maturing varieties of beans, summer squash, cukes and fall peas.  Don’t forget to start direct sowing cool season greens such as arugula, lettuce, mustards, collards, and Asian greens. Also August is perfect for sowing carrots, beets, radishes, turnips and other root crops for fall feasting and winter storage. Of course you’re still weeding, watering and enjoying bountiful harvests.

Cooler evenings remind us that time is running out for transplanting broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and collards started in July.

Frequent harvests keep the cucumbers, squash, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers and pole beans coming. As individual vegetable plants stop producing or succumb to insects and diseases, get them out of there. Add compost and other organic fertilizers and then replant the spot with a cover crop or cool season vegetables. You don’t have to wait until the whole bed is empty.

Weeding and Watering
If you don’t have enough time to keep all your weeds under control, prioritize weeds in bloom and setting seeds. You will not only preserve moisture and nutrients for your current crops but reduce problems in coming years. Prioritize watering and weeding beds with you seedlings and transplants. They require consistent moisture and need nutrients for rapid growth in these last warm days of summer as the amount of light diminishes daily.

Lettuce and other Greens for an Easy Fall Salad Garden
Leaf lettuce, tatsoi, spinach and radishes can all be direct sown in August and produce baby leaves to harvest for salad in just four weeks. A patch as small as three feet by four feet can produce enough cut and come again for a family of four!

By Ira Wallace of Southern Exposure Seed Exchange and the author of The Timber Press Guide to Vegetable Gardening in the Southeast and Grow Great Vegetables in Virginia