WHICH VEGETABLE SEEDS CAN BE SOWN IN AUGUST?
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As soon as the hottest days of summer are behind us you can look towards growing a new seasons worth of vegetable crops over the first part of late autumn and winter.
During August, air and soil temperatures are perfect for germination so you can start sowing some more of the vegetables that you would have already started with in the spring. Although it's too late for tomatoes – perhaps the most popular of all the vegetable/salad crops - you will still have an excellent chance of success with one last sowing of spring onions, and carrots. However, your best – and almost bulletproof - choices would be baby leaf spinach, spring cabbages and Swiss chard.
The beautiful, broad and colourful stalks of Swiss Chard are a striking addition to the vegetable garden. The sweet stalks can be steamed as a vegetable or, when young, eaten raw in salads. position the plants in a spot that receives a good amount of sunlight. Chard will tolerate partial shade but will give a much better yield when grown in a sunny spot. A couple of weeks before sowing you should dig over the soil adding plenty of organic matter as this will help with moisture retention and soil aeration.
This is one of the earliest maturing varieties available and so an ideal choice for August sowing. They produce short tops with smooth skinned, cylindrical roots which fill out quickly to give a crunchy sweet flavour. Carrots prefer a light soil which has been improved with lots of well-rotted organic material fully dug into the soil. If you are growing carrots grown on a heavy soil, or where organic material has not been allown to properly rot down, they can can become misshapen and grow 'forked. Stones in the soil will have the same bad effect. Prepare the bed a couple of weeks or so before planting, forking in a handful of bonemeal for each square yard. Ensure that the soil is dug to a spade's depth and is of a crumbly texture. Carrots will do best in full sun, especially if they are to be harvested when young.
Onion ‘Hi Keeper’
This is the best bulb variety to sow outdoors in autumn for over-wintering, Onion Hi Keeper produces quality bulbs, approximately 120grams in weight and are ideal for exhibiting as well as in the kitchen. It has good winter hardiness, preferring a rich, moist soil in an open situation.
Onion ‘White Lisbon’ – winter hardy
This is a dual purpose onion that resists bulbing up enabling it to be pulled for a longer period than regular varieties. Spring Onion Winter White Bunching also has excellent overwintering qualities and, can be sown either late August for late May pulling or in spring and summer for summer/autumn crops.
For more information on growing onions click onto:How to Grow Onions From Seed
How to Grow Onions from Onion Sets
How to Make and Prepare an Onion Bed
Spring CabbageThere are a number of different varieties of spring cabbage available, all of which are suitable for planting in August for harvesting next spring. They will need an open, sunny site which offers some protection against harsh winter winds. The soil should be light and well-drained as nothing will damage them more than cold, water-logged conditions in the cold winter. Don't add manure or nitrogen rich fertilisers as this will simply encourage vulnerable green growth.
Of course, there are plenty of vegetable crops that will be available to lift come the winter period but putting in that little extra effort now will open up to so many more possibilities for the winter kitchen. And besides, there is nothing better that eating out-of-season fresh produce - especially when you have grown it yourself.
For more information click onto:
Fruit and Vegetables for Growing in October
Fruit and Vegetable Plants for Growing in November
How to Grow Winter Lettuce from Seed
The 'Garden of Eaden' Seed Shop
Organic Seeds with the Royal Connection
Salad Crops for Late Summer/Autumn Planting
Which Salad Crops and Herbs are Tolerant of Shade
Which Vegetables are Tolerant of Growing in the Shade
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