August harvests and sowings (Six on Saturday)

Am having a bit of a slow day today. Is it maybe related to the time of year? August is a month of relaxing holidays, balmy evenings and that niggling almost back-to-school feeling that summer is slipping through one’s fingers. Something about all of these things begets slowness.

Luckily, from a gardening perspective, there’s still plenty going on with the veg harvests coming in thick and fast, and with new things to sow and plant out while the days are still warm and gentle. For my first of today’s Six on Saturday, you can see that there is lots that can still be sown for crops through autumn and winter. In the photo we have:

  • Purple kale
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Yellow beetroot (these will probably only reach golf-ball size but that’s fine)
  • Dill
  • Coriander
  • Spring onions
  • Winter Spinach
  • and just one seedling of Lollo Rossa lettuce (the seeds were a bit old I think)

Most of these were sown at the end of July, but you can still sow a lot of these now – last year I sowed salad crops and spring onions as late as early September and they either provided winter harvests or were ready to pick in early spring.

Next up, a lot of the herbs and edible flowers are still fresh and zingy, and am using them to perk up potato salads, bringing some in for drying for winter use, or chopping them up and freezing them. It’s lovely to have the taste of home-grown summer herbs through the winter.

I’ve also been looking for creative things to do with courgettes. I have just two plants, a yellow variety and a rather lovely Italian striped courgette, Sriato d’Italia. But as anyone who has grown them knows, they are highly productive. I haven’t yet reached the desperate stage of forcing them on strangers in the street, as I’ve discovered a great recipe for courgette pesto (based loosely on this vegan recipe but I actually used Parmesan instead of the nutritional yeast flakes):

The great thing about this is you can also freeze it into ice cube trays to use later in the year.

Let’s have a look at a few ornamental things to finish off. I’ve been wanting to grow Dahlia ‘Totally Tangerine’ ever since seeing it in a book called The Pottery Gardener, by Arthur Parkinson, about the creation of a garden around a pottery business (the famous Emma Bridgewater factory). This is despite the fact that I find growing Dahlias a challenge, they are just too attractive to our local slugs! But somehow it made it, with a hole or two:

Also looking very pretty is Hydrangea paniculata ‘Vanille Fraise’, which has featured on several other Six on Saturdays lately. I think it looks at its prettiest close up. These make great dried flowers too and can be sprayed gold for a bit of Christmas bling-bling.

And my final pic is of this green shield bug on the dried seeds of Thalictrum flavum subsp. glaucum. It seems to have an armoured shell almost like a tortoise when you look closely. I’m organising a seed swap for my local gardening group, so I might try to gather a few of these (seeds not bugs!).

Six on Saturday is a gardening bloggers collective hosted by Jim from Garden Ruminations: have a look at his blog for plenty more posts from gardeners around the world. And have a lovely weekend.

16 thoughts on “August harvests and sowings (Six on Saturday)

  1. Have you considered a new job arranging baskets of herbs and edible flowers for photoshoots? That one is very gardening book worthy. I don’t think I ever realised as a child that the school summer holidays were so close to the end of summer.

    1. Thanks – I do try with the photos but I have to admit I now use my phone instead of the expensive camera I got as a birthday present! How about you – phone or proper camera?

  2. This courgette pesto recipe is such a great idea! I will try one of these days. The purple kale looks healthy to me : I hope there will be no caterpillar damage for you later.

  3. Zucchini pesto sounds good. Thankfully my zucchini (4 plants) have been producing slowly so far, but that looks like it might change this week!

    1. Once they get going you’ll be reaching for that pesto recipe 😉 There’s also a great YouTube video I found recently that had 10 ideas including courgette/zucchini wine 🍷!

  4. Jealous of the fall plantings! We can manage to harvest some things maybe into October but then all bets are off. A hard freeze will put an end to things until April (or May). Then it is seed catalogs and dreams for 6-7 months! The herbs and dahlia are lovely! I am scattering seed now from lettuce, kale, radish, spinach that had gone to seed in the garden. I know it is time to think about planting when I see the seeds germinating, though heat loving plants must wait until mid to late May.

  5. Makes my mouth water looking at your photos. I know what you mean about courgettes being prolific! I have considered leaving them on neighbours doorsteps when it’s dark 🤣

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