August in the Vegie Patch

greenhouse toms1Seed sowing time rolls round again

Ain’t it great when seeds and seedlings are back! Here’s your pre spring check list

  • Clean your seedtrays. Just use water and a stiff scrubbing brush, then leave them out in the sun. Once upon a time I would have rolled my eyes at such advice, thinking it over fussy, prissy. It is however, a most worthwhile spend of ten minutes – lurking spores/  bacteria wreck havoc.
  • Make or buy seed raising mix
  • Cut up labels and buy a new pen (a year in the greenhouse does ink no favours).
  • Order in your seeds this month, remembering a decent supply of greencrops.

Garlic In August

After last years rust explosion I’ve sown three lots of garlic – May, June and now August. They’re all in beds away from the vegie patch incase rust spores have lingered. I’m hoping that all the seaweed in the soil preps plus a monthly dose of EM will give the garlic the resilience it needs. Watch this space!

plastic cloche springWarm the Soil

Right about now the greenhouse is the star of my show – I’m planting salads and dwarf beans and getting the soil ready for tomatoes and peppers. No greenhouse? Then set up cloches and get them warming your soil. Spring crops will grow better/ faster in the warmth. I’m putting up cloches for outdoor saladings, beetroot and carrots.

What To Plant And Sow In August

Given that I’m in the lower half of the North Island, NZ; you’ll need to tweak this information to suit your place. If you’re a beginner and unsure what suits your place then take the plunge and have a go – it’s simply the best way to learn.

Direct sow outside: peas, snow peas, broadbeans, mustard, lupin or phacelia greencrop, miners lettuce, corn salad, spinach, radish, parsnip, rocket, spring onions

Direct sow under cover: coriander, parsley, saladings, florence fennel, beetroot, carrots.

Tray sow: broccoli, cabbage, lettuces, onions.

Plant outside: broccoli, cabbage, kale, onions, shallots, spring onions, garlic, perpetual beet, silverbeet, asparagus, rhubarb.

Plant under cover: sprouted potatoes, lettuces.

Direct sow heaps of companion flowers like calendula, borage, stocks, larkspur, love in the mist, poppies, heartsease and divide up herbs and perennials to build your beneficial insect fodder and habitat.

tomatoes ready to plant outSummer Crops are for Summery Places

If you have a greenhouse (or live somewhere frost free and winterless) you can begin sowing summer stuff like tomatoes, aubergines and peppers, dwarf beans, zucchini and cucumbers too.

You’ll need a heat pad (or the equivalent) to raise aubergine and peppers who need at least 20 degrees to germinate.


  1. Joy Anderton says:

    Kia ora Kath and all lounge-locked gardeners
    Sitting watching the watertable rise by the minute here in Otaki it was a heart warming moment to receive your welcome message Kath.
    Even in the rain the first flush of miniature spring bulbs popping up is a delight.
    At least with all the fires there’ll be plenty of wood ash to boost the compost heap. Thanks for the words of wisdom Kath

  2. Helen B-Mills says:

    I look forward so much to your bright and cheerful and very helpful news letters every month. Thank you Kath.

  3. Hello Kath,

    What is EM for your soil?
    Enjoy your news letters, very much!

    • Hi Carina

      Glad you enjoy the newsletters!

      Em is effective microorganisms – a team of beneficial fungi, bacteria, yeasts to out compete the bad guys and improve soil health so your plants grow with gusto! Like how yoghurt or kefir build a strong population of beneficial microorganisms in your gut. The website has heaps of info.