August in the vegetable garden is a time for enjoying and preserving harvests but also a time for looking ahead to Autumn and beyond. This month we will be sowing lots of cooler season salad leaves but our main focus will be taking care of our soil by planting green manures. Green manures have multiple benefits for our soil by providing nutrients to the soil and to the soil organisms and also by protecting the soil from the elements.

Carrots, Kohl Rabi and Turnips – It is getting late for these crops now so August is your absolute last chance to sow these crops to still be in with a chance of a harvest.

Oriental Salad Leaves – Oriental salad leaves are known for their preference for cooler temperatures and we will be sowing these for the next couple of months. They really add some fantastic flavour so it is a good idea to get a decent sowing of these in during August so that they can put one some decent growth before the autumn and before the temperatures really drop. Our favourites are Mizuna and our Chinese Mustards

RocketRocket is also great for sowing now as long as the temperatures are not too warm. Salad leaves can struggle during really hot weather and have a tendency to bolt. That being said our wild rocket is so tasty so we sow it as often as we can!

Spring onions – Sow plenty of spring onions for a fresh flavour burst in the autumn. Our ‘White Lisbon’ onion is a good choice but we also have our ‘Ishikura’ onion which is a perennial spring onion if you are planting ahead – perennial spring onions divide in both the spring and autumn so provided you don’t pick them all they are an easy, fuss free crop to grow.

Green Manures – Green manures are often grown as cover crops over the winter. Soil should always be covered as much as possible in order to retain water and nutrients and to feed the vital soil life. A healthy, living soil will help to provide us with an abundance of nutrient dense food during the growing season so we need to do everything we can to look after it. Green manures are often grown for a short period and then topped and chopped and used as a mulch but varieties like red clover can be grown with a longer-term view. Using them as mulches will save so much money too. In the book ‘Dirt to Soil’ by Gabe Brown, Gabe talks about how he grew no dig potatoes by covering the seed potatoes with Alfalfa. Green manures have a multitude of uses and they are cheap and easy to grow, removing the chore of sourcing and moving animal manure around your plots!

Our Green Manure Kits provide you with a variety of green manures, carefully selected for their ease of use in your no dig vegetable garden.

Happy Sowing!