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17 Plants to Plant in August
Whether you’re trying to reseed your garden or just getting a late start, there are still plenty of plants to plant in August! Despite the lateness of the year, gardening in August is possible if you know what to grow. Any varieties with a long maturation period aren’t an option, but there are quite a few quick-growing crops that you can start today and get a harvest before (or right around) the beginning of frost season.
While it’s tough to think about planting more when you’re in the middle of collecting all that you already have, it’s important to think ahead. Planting in August ensures you’ll have a fall harvest and can enjoy fresh garden produce for that much longer!
The following plants can be planted in August in any northeast zones (3-7).
Vegetables to Plant in August
The best vegetables for August planting are cold hardy and fast-growing. After all, they need to be able to withstand September and October freezes. It’s helpful to focus on plants that can be harvested at nearly any size, like beets, lettuce, and other root and leaf crops.
Beans – Start bush beans in August for a fall harvest, particularly in warmer climes. Beans are NOT frost hardy, however, so consider timing and frost protection carefully if you live in colder zones. Pick a fast-growing variety, like Top Crop.
Beets – It takes beets about 60 days to reach full maturity, but even if the root isn’t large enough to eat, you can still enjoy their tender greens through early fall.
Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, and Cauliflower – These brassicas family members love cool weather! They work well for a fall crop, but can only be grown from transplants by this late in the year. Seeds take too long to mature. (Find out what companions to plant with broccoli.)
Carrots – Far from being killed by frost, a carrot’s flavor can actually improve once it has been frosted several times! Just don’t wait so long to harvest them that the ground freezes solid. A fast-growing carrot variety, like Paris Market, will net you a harvest soon after your first frosts.
Collards – A southern favorite, collards will grow well even here in the north when it’s cooler out.
Kale – Kale is another vegetable that gets sweeter with cold weather. Blue Scotch is a good fall variety.
Kohlrabi – Kohlrabi takes an average of 45-60 days to mature, and purple varieties, like Purple Vienna, tend to grow exceptionally quickly.
Lettuce – Leaf lettuce takes about a month to reach maturity and is frost tolerant, so you can plant now for a fall crop.
Mustard – Mustard greens are ready to harvest in 30-40 days and appreciate cold weather.
Peas – Similar to beans, peas can mature in about two months. They’re not frost tolerant, so only try them further north if you have a row cover.
Radishes – Known as one of the fastest growers of all vegetables, radishes mature in about 30 days. Plant them now for a September harvest!
Spinach – Spinach is another great leaf crop that will be ready in less than two months and won’t mind a little frost.
Swiss Chard – Swiss chard is an excellent cold-hardy leafy green. A variety like Perpetual grows in about 50-60 days.
Turnips – Like radishes, fast-growing turnip varieties, like White Lady, can mature in about a month.
Consider Cover Crops
If you have some empty space in the garden after harvesting and don’t want to replant vegetables, consider adding a cover crop.
Cover crops like buckwheat and rye keep weeds down and improve soil quality.
Happy Fall Planting!
While we all feel sad that summer is winding down, growing some crops you’ll be able to harvest in the fall will keep the garden spirit alive. Make sure you start these plants to plant in August as soon as possible. It really is the last hurrah for outdoor gardening. Enjoy your harvest!