It’s August, the weather is dry and sunny in Darwin, but the end of winter draws near. Days begin to grow noticeably longer and the change of season isn’t too far away.
This month is the time to sow the first summer vegetable seeds.
Towards the end of August, feed fruit trees with organic fertiliser, manure and compost by digging these into the soil when preparing new garden beds. The soil organisms will begin breaking down the organic plant food to slowly release nutrients into the soil after a week or two, ready for the beginning of new spring growth in September. If fruit trees need a feed of potash (potassium), late autumn is also the time to do that too.
Things to Do This Month:
- Continue planting deciduous trees, shrubs, vines and cane fruits (and roses!). Wait till spring to plant citrus.
- Continue pruning deciduous shrubs (and roses too if you didn’t prune them in July).
- Prune dead seed-heads, stems and branches on herbaceous perennial plants.
- Relocate any deciduous plants (trees, shrubs, vines) or herbaceous perennial plants growing in the wrong place in winter. (Evergreens can only be moved in autumn and early spring, where they have time to regrow roots – remember, they retain leaves in winter which transpire and lose water).
- Apply organic fertiliser to fruit trees, so that the slowly released nutrients will become available when the new growth commences in spring.
- Feed pot grown shrubs and plants and refresh their potting mix by scraping off the top 2.5cm and replace it with fresh potting mix which has been mixed with slow-release fertiliser. Top dressing with compost is also beneficial.
Vegetables and Herbs to Grow in August (Tropical Climate)
|August Seeds to Sow and Seedlings to Plant|
(Tropical Climate Australia)
|Beans (Dwarf, Bush)||t||7-10|
|Cowpeas (Black Eye Peas)||d||11-14|
|Spring Onions (Bunching Onions)||dt||6-10|
|Sweet Potato (Kumara)||plant crowns||15-17|
|Taro (Cocoyam)||plant tubers||28|
|Zucchini (Courgette, Marrow)||dt||6-9|
d = sow seeds directly into ground
s = sow seeds into seed tray
ds = sow seeds directly into ground or seed tray
t = transplant seedlings (small plants) into larger pots or plant into ground
*= frost tender
**= sow after frost
Download printable PDF version of Gardening Calendar (Australian Tropical Climate) – August
To help improve these garden calendars, feedback and additional information from readers is greatly appreciated! Australia’s climate varies considerably, and local knowledge of when particular things need to be done in the garden are most helpful to others living in those area, so please feel free to share.