What to Plant in August in Louisiana
August marks the peak of summer in Louisiana, with high temperatures and plenty of sunshine. While the heat can be intense, it doesn’t mean your garden has to suffer. By choosing the right plants to sow in August, you can ensure a bountiful harvest in the coming months. In this article, we will explore some of the best vegetables, flowers, and herbs to plant in Louisiana during August. We will also address some frequently asked questions at the end to guide you further.
1. Tomatoes: Although it may seem counterintuitive, August is the perfect time to plant tomatoes in Louisiana. Opt for heat-resistant varieties such as ‘Heatmaster,’ ‘Solar Fire,’ or ‘Sweet Chelsea.’ Provide them with some shade during the hottest parts of the day to prevent sunscald.
2. Peppers: Whether you prefer sweet bell peppers or spicy jalapenos, August is an excellent time to plant them. Choose varieties like ‘Big Bertha’ or ‘Cayenne Long Slim’ that can handle the heat and will continue producing until the first frost.
3. Okra: Known for its heat tolerance, okra thrives in the Louisiana summer. Sow seeds directly into the ground and keep the soil moist. Harvest the pods when they are young and tender for the best flavor.
4. Beans: Both bush and pole beans can be planted in August. Consider varieties like ‘Kentucky Wonder’ or ‘Contender,’ which are known for their productivity and heat tolerance.
5. Squash and zucchini: If you’re looking to add some summer squash to your garden, August is the time to do it. Choose fast-maturing varieties like ‘Golden Glory’ or ‘Zephyr’ for a quick harvest.
1. Sunflowers: Bright and cheerful, sunflowers are a great addition to any garden. Sow seeds directly into the ground and choose varieties that mature quickly, such as ‘Autumn Beauty’ or ‘Sunspot.’
2. Marigolds: These vibrant flowers not only add a pop of color to your garden but also deter pests. Plant marigolds around your vegetable beds to keep harmful insects at bay.
3. Zinnias: With their wide range of colors and long-lasting blooms, zinnias are a popular choice for Louisiana gardens. Plant seeds directly in the ground and choose varieties like ‘State Fair Mix’ or ‘Cut and Come Again’ for continuous blooming.
4. Cosmos: These delicate flowers are a favorite among butterflies and bees. Sow cosmos seeds in well-drained soil and enjoy their vibrant blooms throughout late summer and early fall.
5. Pentas: If you’re looking for a heat-loving flower that attracts hummingbirds and butterflies, pentas are an excellent choice. Their clusters of star-shaped blooms come in a variety of colors, including pink, red, and white.
1. Basil: August is the ideal time to plant basil, as it thrives in warm weather. Choose varieties like ‘Genovese’ or ‘Sweet Thai’ for their delicious flavor and versatility in the kitchen.
2. Rosemary: This fragrant herb is well-suited to Louisiana’s hot and humid climate. Plant rosemary in a sunny spot with well-drained soil and enjoy its aromatic leaves in your culinary creations.
3. Mint: With its refreshing scent and taste, mint is a must-have herb for any garden. Plant it in containers or in a designated area, as it can spread rapidly.
4. Chives: These hardy perennials are a great addition to any herb garden. Plant them in well-drained soil and enjoy their onion-like flavor in various dishes.
Q: Can I start a vegetable garden in August?
A: Absolutely! While it’s a bit late for some crops, there are still plenty of vegetables that can be planted in August in Louisiana. Focus on heat-resistant varieties and provide ample water and shade during the hottest parts of the day.
Q: How often should I water my plants during August?
A: In the scorching Louisiana heat, plants may require watering every day or every other day. Be sure to water deeply, allowing the moisture to reach the roots.
Q: Should I use mulch in my garden during August?
A: Yes, mulching is highly recommended during August to help retain soil moisture and regulate temperatures. Organic mulches like straw or wood chips are excellent choices.
Q: How can I protect my plants from pests and diseases during August?
A: Regularly inspect your plants for any signs of pests or diseases. Use organic pest control methods whenever possible, such as handpicking insects or using insecticidal soap. Proper spacing and good airflow can also help prevent diseases.
Q: Is it too late to start a flower garden in August?
A: While it may be challenging to grow some flowers from seed, you can still plant nursery-grown flowers in August. Focus on heat-loving varieties and provide them with adequate water and care.
In conclusion, August in Louisiana doesn’t mean the end of gardening season. By selecting the right plants and providing them with proper care, you can continue to enjoy a vibrant and productive garden well into the fall. Whether you choose to grow vegetables, flowers, or herbs, remember to stay hydrated and wear protective clothing while tending to your garden in the summer heat. Happy gardening!