The Best Crops to Start Growing in August
As summer begins to wind down, you might think your gardening days are coming to an end. Not so fast! August is not only an excellent time to start planting certain crops for a bountiful fall and winter harvest, but it also offers a great opportunity to rejuvenate your garden and maintain productivity. With a little planning and the right selection of crops, you can extend your gardening season and enjoy fresh, homegrown produce well into the cooler months. Below are some of the best crops you can start growing in August, ensuring your garden remains vibrant and rewarding.
Brassica or Cole Vegetables
- Brassica vegetables, also known as Cole crops, include favorites like broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower. These leafy greens thrive in cooler weather and can be planted in August for a late fall harvest. Besides being delicious, they are packed with nutrients like Vitamin C and fiber, making them an excellent addition to your kitchen and diet.
- Kale is a nutrition powerhouse and an excellent addition to any garden. It's a hardy crop that can withstand cooler temperatures, making it perfect to start in August. The rich, dark leaves of kale are filled with antioxidants and other health-promoting compounds. Whether you're making a hearty kale salad or adding it to a smoothie, this superfood brings a lot to the table.
- Lettuce is a cool-weather crop that grows rapidly. Planting lettuce in August ensures you'll have fresh salads throughout the fall. Plus, there are many varieties of lettuce to choose from, ranging from the crisp and crunchy Romaine to the delicate Butterhead, offering you a plethora of choices for your dinner plate.
- Chinese greens like choy sum, tatsoi, and mizuna are quick to mature and ideal for sowing in August. These leafy greens add a unique flavor to any dish. They're especially great in stir-fries and soups, or simply sautéed with a bit of garlic and oil.
- Carrots can be planted in August for a late fall harvest. They're a versatile root vegetable that can be used in a variety of dishes from soups to salads. Plus, carrots stored properly can last through the winter, providing you with a reliable source of nutrition during the colder months.
- Spinach is another cool-weather crop that thrives when planted in August. It's an excellent source of iron and makes a tasty addition to salads, smoothies, and more. Spinach is also a great crop for beginner gardeners as it's relatively easy to grow and maintain.
- Swiss chard is a leafy green that can be planted in August for a fall harvest. Its colorful stalks add a pop of color to your garden and your plate. Swiss chard is not only visually appealing but also packed with vitamins A and K, making it a healthy and beautiful addition to your garden.
Celery and Parsnips
- Celery and parsnips are excellent companion plants for carrots. Plant these in August alongside your carrot crop for a varied and robust harvest. Both celery and parsnips add a unique flavor to dishes and are packed with vitamins and minerals.
Remember, gardening is not a one-size-fits-all activity. The specific crops you can grow may depend on your local climate and growing zone. Always check with your local extension service or garden center for the best advice tailored to your area.
So, don't hang up your gardening gloves just yet! With these crops, you can keep your garden thriving well into the cooler months. Happy gardening!