Gardeners' World: Expert says gardens are 'under attack'
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Come rain or shine, there’s plenty of greens you can sow in your garden this month with everything from late summer salad crops, to oriental vegetables. Whether you are hoping to cook up a hearty Sunday roast or an Asian-fusion dish, now is the time to sow and grow from seed to crop.
What vegetables can I sow?
August is prime time to grow quick maturing salad crops such as summer lettuce, radish, rocket, sorrel, chicory (red and sugarloaf) and fennel.
If you’re in the South of England, it’s good news if you have leftover spring cabbage, turnips, oriental vegetables and winter variety onion seeds which can continue to be sown.
For best results in your Autumn harvest, The Royal Horticultural Society recommends sowing green manures such as crimson clover and Italian ryegrass to act as a soil improver and to cover bare areas.
Pak choi, Japanese onions and Tokyo cross turnips can give you that oriental fix when sowing your autumnal seeds.
If you’re planting onions be sure to try Senshyu Yellow, or Keepwell varieties which can be sown in August and ready to harvest in June for those summer salads.
Tokyo cross turnips are rapid growers and can be harvested in just 30 days when planted outside in August with good conditions.
This hybrid variety of turnip is usually larger than its European counterparts and is at prime harvest when it appears one to two centimetres in diameter.
Last chance to sow…
As we near the end of the Great British summer, time is running out for planting peas if you haven’t already.
It’s their last chance for autumn harvest so be sure to sow an early and fast-growing variety such as Douce Provence or Meteor.
Replace watercress with land cress or American cress which make a hardy substitute and can usually survive even the toughest winter.
Be sure to raise your cress in module trays to avoid root disturbance for best results.
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What flowers and plants should you sow in August?
It’s not just about veggies – now’s a great time to plant your newly pot grown strawberries to allow them to establish well before winter.
Or why not start sowing winter-flowering pansies, for that beautiful pop of colour in your garden.
Hardy annual seeds like poppies, Californian poppies, cornflower ‘Dwarf Blue Midget’, calendula and larkspur can also be sown now in order to produce early blooming flowers in 2022.
What to harvest in August
There are six main crops to harvest this month:
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