What to Plant in August: The Complete Guide

Written by August Croft
Updated: July 25, 2023
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Key Points

  • August is a great month for planting a variety of flowers, including chrysanthemums, asters, nigella flowers, marigolds, cornflowers, and pansies.
  • Vegetables that can be planted in August include beets, lettuce, spinach, broccoli, peas, and kale.
  • Consider planting cover crops, shrubs, and trees in August to improve soil quality, prevent erosion, and prepare for spring.
  • Planting shrubs and trees in August can help them establish roots before the rainy season and thrive in the following spring.

If you are wondering what it’s like to keep a garden in late summer, you should know what to plant in August before getting started. Temperatures during this time of year can vary and affect your planting success, but there are plenty of options for you, no matter where you live! What might some of the best things to plant in August include, from flowers to veggies to fruits? 

Many flowers can be planted during the month of August, though most won’t bloom profusely until spring. There are a number of cold-weather crops to consider planting from seed during August, including spinach, lettuce, turnips, and beets. Knowing your local temperatures will be key to successful harvests. Depending on where you live, you may have success planting shrubs and trees during this month as well, especially rose varieties and perennial shrubs. 

In this article, we’ll go over the basic care of some of the best August planting options around, regardless of your Hardiness Zone or region. While your spring and summer crops may be winding down, August is still a great month for planting a variety of things. A fall garden can still be a fertile garden with the right crops and preparations. Let’s get started and talk about some of those musts now! 

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What to Plant in August: Flowers

what to plant in august

Pay attention to your hot days, as flowers are the most likely plant to suffer from extremely warm temperatures during this month.

©ifiStudio/Shutterstock.com

Unless you live in a particularly cold region, August is a bit too early to consider planting your springtime bulbs. However, a number of different types of flowers can be planted from seed during this month. Pay attention to your hot days. Flowers are the most likely plant to suffer from extremely warm temperatures during this month. Here are some options that are likely to survive the heat and flower throughout fall! 

Chrysanthemums

what to plant in august

Chrysanthemums thrive in full sunshine and do well in a variety of soil types.

©Dorothy Adaha Kayina/Shutterstock.com

When planted in August, your chrysanthemums will be blooming and healthy during the colder temperatures of fall! However, some colder regions may find that this planting will not support fall blooms this year. Depending on where you live, you may have to wait until springtime for your chrysanthemums to fully bloom. No matter what, the hardiness of this flower makes it possible to enjoy it month after month when planted properly. Chrysanthemums thrive in full sunshine and do well in a variety of soil types. If you choose to plant an already established chrysanthemum plant, you’ll have better luck getting flowers this year rather than waiting until next! 

Asters

what to plant in august

You can plant asters from seed during the month of August, but make sure the seeds are planted close enough to the surface of the soil.

©iStock.com/Wirestock

Drought resistant and known for its ability to reseed and spread year after year, asters are an understated garden favorite. You can plant asters from seed during the month of August. Make sure the seeds are planted close enough to the soil so that they get enough sunlight during this process. With a low-growth habit and shrub-like appearance, asters offer gardeners an attractive and low-maintenance border plant nearly year-round. And remember that this flower will keep coming back season after season, especially if you deadhead the blooms during the fall months. 

Nigella Flowers

what to plant in august

Your nigella flowers may not fully bloom until springtime, but they will pop up in full force after a winter of dormancy!

©Iva Vagnerova/Shutterstock.com

Also known as love-in-a-mist, nigella flowers are intricate, delicate, and unique. Similar to asters, nigella seeds are best planted on the surface or just beneath the soil so that they can get plenty of sunshine. They prefer full sunshine and some compost throughout the growing season. However, you likely won’t have to bother with this during the month of August. Your nigella flowers may not fully bloom until springtime, but they will pop up in full force after a winter of dormancy! These flowers are excellent for filling in any gaps in your landscaping and will also return year after year. 

Marigolds

what to plant in august

While they need full sunshine, marigolds aren’t too particular about their soil.

©FunFamilyRu/Shutterstock.com

With most varieties blooming Within 6 to 8 weeks, marigolds can be planted from seed during the month of August in most Zones. Easy to care for and available in many bright colors, marigolds do well in the ground, in containers, and just about anywhere you can think of! While they need full sunshine, marigolds aren’t too particular about their soil. Water when they seem dry and consider watering in the morning. This allows marigolds enough time to dry out during the day so that they are less susceptible to mildew or mold-based diseases. 

Cornflowers

what to plant in august

While cornflowers do best when planted in springtime, you may have some success planting them during the month of August as well.

©Alex Manders/Shutterstock.com

Capable of spreading easily, cornflowers are ideal for wildflower gardens and as a type of flower you can plant and forget about. While cornflowers do best when planted in springtime, you may have some success planting them during the month of August as well. Some flowers may sprout during the cooler temperatures of September and October. Whatever seeds you plant during the month of August will bloom in springtime if not before. Cornflowers can handle partial shade and can be found in more colors than their trademark blue, including pink and white! 

Pansies

what to plant in august

There are countless varieties of pansies to choose from, so make a choice based on the rest of your landscaping!

©Michkasova Elena/Shutterstock.com

Thriving in cooler temperatures, pansies are a staple for the fall garden. Given that these flowers suffer more in the heat than others, planting pansies from seed during the month of August is recommended. There are countless varieties of pansies to choose from, so make a choice based on the rest of your landscaping! Sow your pansy seeds on the surface of your soil. Consider planting them in a location that allows them some protection from the hottest sunshine found in the afternoons of August. With proper deadheading and trimming, pansies will continue to bloom until the first frost of winter. 

What to Plant in August: Vegetables

what to plant in august

You may be surprised at what to plant in August, especially given the fact that your summer garden isn’t through yet!

©iStock.com/AlexRaths

There are a number of vegetables (and fruit!) to consider planting during the month of August. Most temperatures during this month support seed germination, especially when it comes to cooler weather crops that will mature in September as nights get a bit chillier. You may be surprised at what to plant in August, especially given the fact that your summer garden isn’t through yet! Here are some additional plants to consider for this fruitful month.

Beets

what to plant in august

Depending on your local temperatures, waiting until late August to plant your beet seeds may be a good idea.

©Vlad Antonov/Shutterstock.com

If you haven’t tried growing beets in your garden yet, now is the time! Thriving in the cold temperatures of fall, beets grow easily in a variety of Zones. Depending on your local temperatures, waiting until late August to plant your beet seeds may be a good idea. When temperatures are still above 80 degrees Fahrenheit on a regular basis, beats can struggle to germinate. However, anyone living in Zone 9 or above can easily grow beets throughout the wintertime! These sweet root vegetables require a bit of compost and a thinning of their seeds when young. They are otherwise easy to care for. 

Lettuce (Many Varieties)

what to plant in august

Depending on your region, you may be able to grow lettuce throughout wintertime with some protection.

©lzf/Shutterstock.com

Thriving in the summer heat for their germination period before growing full during cooler temperatures, many lettuce varieties do well when planted in August. Depending on your region, you may be able to grow lettuce throughout wintertime with some protection. If you are worried about the cold getting to your lettuce types before you can make a full harvest, choose lettuce varieties that are quick to germinate. These lettuce types will likely stand up to the hotter August temps as well! Most varieties of lettuce prefer cold temperatures. This means you may want to moisten and protect your soil from the heat of August days before planting your lettuce seeds. 

Spinach

what to plant in august

Spinach does best in full sunshine, though partial shade works well if you plant your spinach in August.

©iStock.com/okugawa

Similarly to lettuce, spinach prefers colder temperatures and often wilts during the summertime. However, planting spinach during mid to late August will yield plenty of tasty greens in September and October. Spinach does best in full sunshine, though partial shade works well if you plant your spinach in August. Some relief from the hot summer sun is necessary! Spinach is easily grown in the ground or in containers and you can continually plant more seeds after harvesting. Most Zones are capable of growing spinach until the first hard frost of winter. Further harvests are possible if you protect your plants. 

Broccoli

what to plant in august

Given just how long broccoli takes to mature, you may want to protect your crops from pests.

©ChameleonsEye/Shutterstock.com

While it may take longer to mature than many other vegetables on this list, broccoli thrives in cooler temperatures and can easily be planted in August for a fall harvest. Keep in mind that you will need close to 100 days before your broccoli is ready for harvest, so plan accordingly based on your local frost dates. Given just how long broccoli takes to mature, you may want to protect your crops from pests. However, broccoli is easy to grow otherwise when planted in full sunshine and offered a bit of compostable soil throughout its growing season! 

Peas

what to plant in august

Also a cool weather crop, peas tend to germinate within 30 to 45 days, depending on the variety.

©iStock.com/PierceHSmith

Germinating quickly, you can plant peas during the month of August so long as your temperatures aren’t too hot. Also a cool weather crop, peas tend to germinate within 30 to 45 days, depending on the variety. If you are worried about squeezing in a pea harvest before wintertime comes, choose a variety that supports an even faster germination period. So long as you give your pea plants protection from the hot afternoon sun and a trellis so that they can find, this is a wonderful and easy crop to grow during August! 

Kale

what to plant in august

Many gardeners agree that planting kale in mid to late August leads to a delicious and healthy crop throughout fall and even winter!

©BlueSky_31/Shutterstock.com

Just like lettuce and spinach, kale prefers colder temperatures in order to produce leaves that are less bitter than kale grown during summertime. In fact, hot temperatures can kill kale plants or cause them to bolt. Make sure that your soil is cooler before planting your kale seeds. Many gardeners agree that planting kale in mid to late August leads to a delicious and healthy crop throughout fall and even winter! There are countless kale varieties to choose from and plenty of options to suit your Zone, depending on where you live. 

What to Plant in August: Consider Planting Cover Crops, Shrubs, and Trees

what to plant in august

While they may seem unhappy during wintertime, there are a number of perennial shrubs and trees that can survive an August planting.

©Anna-Nas/Shutterstock.com

August is a great month to continue harvesting, get your fall garden in, and prepare for next spring. It’s certainly a busy month, but you’ll thank yourself if you’re able to take advantage of this time rather than put everything off until March! While they may seem unhappy during wintertime, there are a number of perennial shrubs and trees that can survive an August planting. Plus, cover crops can help return nutrients to your soil when planted during this month.

Here are only a few of the many options available to you as you decide what to you with your garden space during the month of August.

Cover Crops

what to plant in august

Many gardeners plant cover crops in their gardens so that they can improve the soil quality, prevent erosion, protect their soil from weeds, and much more.

©JulieK2/Shutterstock.com

Depending on how big and active your garden is, you may want to consider planting cover crops toward the end of August. The purpose of cover crops is more useful than you might think. Many gardeners plant cover crops in their gardens for a variety of reasons. Some of these include improving the soil quality, preventing erosion, protecting their soil from weeds, and much more. There are many different types of cover crops depending on what you are trying to achieve. Some of these include clover, rye, buckwheat, and more. Choose something that works well in your local region. Plant in August so that your garden will be protected and ready when spring arrives! 

Shrubs

what to plant in august

Many shrubs go on sale at your local garden centers and hardware stores during this month, as they often look too worse for wear!

©iStock.com/nobtis

While springtime is heralded as the best time to plant new shrubs or trees, you may have equal luck planting them toward the end of August. Plus, many shrubs go on sale at your local garden centers and hardware stores during this month. They often look too worse for wear! Don’t let their unhealthy looks fool you. You can definitely plant shrubs during this month and see them thrive come spring. Some shrubs to consider include roses, lilacs, privet, and laurels.

Trees

what to plant in august

All types of trees can be planted during the month of August, with evergreens preferring a later planting during this month.

©iStock.com/Lex20

With rainy days coming later in the season, planting trees in mid to late August often helps young saplings survive. Often, springtime rains make it difficult for young trees to get established. However, August remains warm and dry, allowing saplings to spread their roots before too much water gets in the way. All types of trees can be planted during the month of August. However, evergreens prefer a later planting during this month. However, deciduous and fruit trees seem to enjoy an August planting, with plenty of fertilizer and mulch to retain moisture! 

The photo featured at the top of this post is © LubaShi/Shutterstock.com


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About the Author

August Croft is a writer at A-Z Animals where their primary focus is on astrology, symbolism, and gardening. August has been writing a variety of content for over 4 years and holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Theater from Southern Oregon University, which they earned in 2014. They are currently working toward a professional certification in astrology and chart reading. A resident of Oregon, August enjoys playwriting, craft beer, and cooking seasonal recipes for their friends and high school sweetheart.

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