Wondering if you can still get your garden started in August? Surprisingly, you definitely can! August planting in Zones 3 and 4 is going to be focused on fall and winter crops. This August planting guide will focus on those fall and winter crops that you can get started this month!
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Remember that this article is for gardeners living in zones 3 & 4. If you aren’t sure what your garden zone is you can follow this link to find out!
August Planting Guide: Tips
It’s important to remember that in these colder zones, you will need to be prepared to protect your crops from cold temperatures. If you plant in August you need to be prepared to protect your garden from the cold temperatures that will be arriving in 6 to 8 weeks.
Despite the cold that doesn’t mean there is nothing to plant in your area, you just need to protect your garden with fabric row covers, hoop houses or cold frames. You can learn more about these methods for protecting your harvest in these articles:
- Using a Hoop House
- Build Your Own Hoop House
- Fabric Row Covers
- Winter Cold Frame Management
- Building Cold Frames
Alright, let’s get started! Here are crops you can plant in August for a fall and early winter harvest in zones 3 or 4.
August Planting Guide
Carrots are one of my favorite crops in this August planting guide. The cold weather makes the carrots so much sweeter and they are a delicious treat!
One of my favorite varieties is called Little Finger. They have a shorter maturity date, so they size up well before winter! You can learn more about growing carrots in the winter in this article: Growing Carrots for a Winter Harvest
Lettuce overall is a great crop to get started in August. You’re going to want to start planting lettuce about 8 weeks before your first frost date.
You can continue planting until as close as two weeks before your first frost date. These later plantings could be overwintered in a cold frame for an early spring harvest or you could use them as baby greens.
However, I avoid planting head lettuces in the fall and stick with leaf lettuce. We love varieties like
- Winter Density
- Black-Seeded Simpson
- Paris Island
- Oak Leaf
- Most types of red-leaf lettuce.
You can learn more here: Growing Lettuce in the Fall and Winter
Spinach is another one of our favorite crops to grow in the fall! An August planting of spinach should give you a harvest in mid-October, but if you use a cold frame to provide some protection from the cold temperatures you can harvest small amounts of spinach all winter long!
Parsley is a great crop that you can get started in August! It’s perfect for adding yummy flavor to your meals in the fall and early winter!
Kale is one of the hardiest winter crops. Not only does it withstand cooler temperatures, but I personally think that kale tastes better when it’s grown in the cold!
Frost and freezing temperatures sweeten the kale, changing its flavor significantly. If you aren’t normally a fan of kale, I recommend that you try planting in cooler temperatures. You might be surprised by how much you like it!
Bok Choy is a yummy crop that grows well in colder temperatures. You can start it outside in your garden by seed 8 weeks before your first frost date or start it indoors and then plant it in your garden in the fall.
Beets are another yummy crop that you can get started this month! You’ll want to aim to start beets about 8 weeks before your first frost date if you want to harvest beetroots.
Anything started later than that will only yield the tops. The tops make a great addition to salads, so don’t hesitate to try some beets even if you are planting a little bit later!
You’ll also need to plant turnips about 8 weeks before your first frost date if you want to harvest roots. They’re a great crop to give a try this fall!
Arugula is a great green to add to your fall sandwiches and salads. This peppery-tasting green will yield baby-sized leaves in 30-40 days and full-sized leaves in about 60 days.
Other Vegetables to Plant in August
I hope that you enjoyed this August planting guide. What will you be planting in your garden this month? Are there any crops that I missed?