In farms, allotments and vegetable gardens around the UK, it’s harvest time! August is the most productive month of the year for our temperate climate, which means many gardens are now bursting with tomatoes, courgettes and basketfuls of other tasty veg.
As summer flowers fade, plants are now putting all of their energy into creating fruits and seeds!
If you wander by local fields of wheat in August, you’ll see lots of farmers with their combine harvesters, collecting precious grains that will be turned into bread, pasta, cereals and other flour-based goods.
July, August and September are busy and critical months for our farmers, and the weather can have a big impact on when fields will be harvested.
In our own gardens and allotments, harvest time is usually a more relaxed experience! We can pick different fruits and vegetables as they ripen, and when we’re ready to cook with them!
The unexpected benefits of ‘growing your own’
Being able to watch plants develop from seedlings into delicious ingredients is a rewarding experience. It’s something the whole family can get involved with, and this additional time outside can make a real difference to our wellbeing.
Gardening on a windowsill, balcony or running an allotment can be a fun, year-round hobby that gives us a valuable connection to the outdoors.
Whether you plant potatoes in August or nurture windowsill herbs throughout winter, we can always find a meaningful connection with nature when growing our own food.
Can you sow seeds in August?
Springtime is usually the busiest month for seed sowing, but there’s still a variety of veg that you can sow now for an autumn and winter harvest.
Here are 5 vegetables you can sow in August!
Spinach: A super versatile leafy green, many spinach varieties are tolerant of cooler weather conditions. This means you could harvest nutritious spinach leaves throughout autumn!
Radishes: Bright pink and deliciously peppery, radishes grow very quickly and are often ready in as little as 4 weeks! This leaves plenty of time for the family to grow a crop or two before autumn frosts set in.
Potatoes: For tasty new potatoes in December, plant seed potatoes in a container in late August. Make sure it’s a container that can be placed in a sheltered area (greenhouse/porch/conservatory) during heavy frosts and snow. This means you’ll have a ready supply of homegrown potatoes for Christmas dinner!
Mustard Greens: These deliciously peppery greens make a tasty addition to salads and stir fry. They can easily be grown in patio containers and windowsill planters.
Swiss Chard: Part of the beetroot family, Swiss chard leaves and stems are a tasty addition to stir fry, soups and stews. They grow quickly, and can be planted now for young leaves throughout autumn!
Which wild fruits and seeds ripen in August?
Just like our allotments and gardens, August can also be a great time for harvesting wild foods too.
The ancestor of our orchard apples, crabapples are a fantastic wild fruit to forage in late August and September. Their flavours can be a little sharp when eaten off the tree, so they’re often turned into a delicious crabapple jam or chutney!
A brilliant botanical that’s packed with vitamin C and flavonoids, including an antioxidant known as Quercetin. Because of these high nutritional benefits, elderberry was the perfect accompaniment to our award winning - Sparkling Raspberry botanical water. Make sure you prepare elderberries carefully before eating them.
In the last week of August, and the first two weeks of September, keep your eyes peeled for Hazel trees. Hazelnuts are a wonderful foraged treat, but you’ll have to beat the squirrels to them!
Like elderberries, blackberries contain lots of beneficial vitamin C. They’re a very common find in hedgerows and meadow edges, so make sure to take a box or basket with you on your next walk!
In August there are so many activities to draw us outside, from planting vegetables for a winter harvest, enjoying healthy summer picnics and foraging blackberries and hazelnuts.
Before the wintry air and crisp leaves of autumn roll around, make the most of August by enjoying the fruits of summer and maximising time outdoors!