What to sow now for year round harvests – August

Stephanie Hafferty holding a tray of vegetable seedlings in the garden

Get sowing! August is a great time for sowing many vegetables, herbs, salads and flowers for year round harvests.

You don’t need a lot of fancy equipment. Almost all of these can be grown outside in the UK (depending on your location!)

Fill those gaps

tray of vegetable seedlings
module grown herbs and leaf greens

If like me the slugs have munched some of your cherished overwintering brassicas, this is an opportunity to fill those gaps in your veg beds. I am sowing a lot of kale to compensate for the tragic loss of my Brussel sprouts, munched into oblivion almost overnight earlier in July.

Lettuce and other salad leaves, annual herbs and Asian greens are also excellent gap-fillers.

Successional sowing

To stagger harvesting times, I’ll also be sowing many of these in late August and September for later cropping. Find out more in this blog.

Days are getting shorter

sunset and polytunnelWe’ve barely had a summer here in Wales, and so it’s not nice to think of autumn being just around the corner, but the reality is the daylight is decreasing every day.

Almost everything listed here can also be sown in September, for cropping a bit later, unless you live in northern parts of the UK where really everything needs to be sown by mid-August and planted out by early September.

The key exceptions are December harvesting potatoes which need to go in asap, and over wintering bulbing onions, which need to be sown by the middle of the month.

Plant Now! Potatoes for Christmas

three sacks of potatoes in a polytunnelGrown for cropping towards the end of December and January, it is a bit of a treat harvesting fresh new potatoes in the depths of winter. I grow mine in potato bags or old compost sacks with extra drainage holes made at the bottom.

It is best to grow these under cover, unless you live in an area with no chance of blight or heavy frosts. Potatoes are not frost hardy and you’ll get a bigger harvest if the foliage has some protection.earthy potatoes

I grow mine in the greenhouse and polytunnel. If you don’t have an undercover space, then make a shelter for your spuds – a simple cloche of clear polythene, for example.

You’ll find seed potatoes in garden centres, hardware stores and online. The varieties I have planted now are Charlotte, Nicola, Maris Peer and Pentland Javelin.


What to sow in August – the seed list

tray of seedlings

With a few exceptions, all of these can be sown and grown outside or under cover in August.

Beans – dwarf (bush) beans for growing undercover only, in warmer areas

Beetroot – for small beetroots and also the leaves (delicious in curries)

Cabbages – overwintering varieties and spring cabbage including Durham Early, Greyhound, Piacenza, Wheelers Imperial, April

Cauliflower – eg: All Year Round, Aalsmeer

Carrots – outside or under cover – choose hardier varieties (it will say on the packet) eg: Nantes, Manchester Table Carrot, Autumn King

Celery – mostly for growing undercover. Red stem celery is especially robust


Chicories and Radicchios – one of my absolute favourite things to grow 

Chinese Cabbage

Endives – En Cornet de Bordeaux, Fine Maraichere, Bianca Riccia da Taglio

Florence fennel – Mantovano, Colossale, Perfektion, Solaris F1, Finale F1

Funky brassicas and greens – spigariello, Rapa Senza Testa, San Marzano, Green Days Eighty, Wa Wa Cai Choi, Hon Tsai Tai, Broccoli Raab (all of these except the Raab are from Real Seeds)

Herbs – including dill, coriander, chervil, parsley (curly and flat leaf), rocket, wild rocket, wasabi rocket. Basil for growing on in pots in the kitchen. 


Lettuces – choose winter varieties now which will withstand colder weather including Grenoble red, Red Iceberg, Jack Ice, Marvel of Four Seasons.

Micro-leaves – ideal for smaller spaces, windowsills etc, these can be sown into pots and grown inside.

Mustards and Asian greens – eg: red mustard, red frills, turnip greens,  purple mustard greens, Nine headed bird mustard, Golden Frills, Red Frills, Dragon’s Tongue, mibuna, komatusna.

Onions, bulbing – August sowing eg: Augusta, Liria, Senshu yellow, Also Paris early white onion, which is grown for using the bulbs and stems (not storage)

Onions, salad – and bunching onions eg: white lisbon, red beard, bunching onion “kyoto market”.

Pak Choi – eg: Vibrant Joy, Tuushou F1, Green Boy, Santos Round Leaf Yellow, Tai Tai White Stem

Peas for  shoots –  a thrifty tip is to use left over peas of any variety from your sowings this year

Peas for overwintering – I usually sow these in September when there’s more room – Havel, Douce Provence, Oskar

Radish – especially winter varieties although I have found all radish work undercover including mooli, Green lobo, Black Spanish Round

Other salad leaves including land cress, claytonia and purslane

Spring Cabbage 

Spinach including perpetual spinach eg: medania, giant winter spinach, viroflex


Green Manures to sow in August

I sow all of these outside, if there is some space. The polytunnel is full of veg over winter so there’s no room for green manures

green manure mustard in a vegetable garden
mustard green manure

eg: field beans, agricultural mustard Sinapsis Alba, Caliente mustard and crimson clover.

I use these because none need to be dug in. The mustards and clover will die off in the frosts and the field beans are cut at ground level before harvesting, useful composting materials. A brilliant thing about green manure is that it keeps roots in the soil increasing biodiversity and helps to protect the soil against wild weather.

Avoid mixes with rye in as it is really tricky to get rid of unless you’re a farmer!

Flowers to sow in August

Higgledy Garden imageAlthough I do sow some flowers at this time of year, for a more detailed list visit Higgledy Garden where you can download their free seed sowing guide.






rainbow shining across a productive garden in August
rainbow, August 5th 2023. View across the Orchard

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