It’s not too late to plant a great garden, even in July. Warmer temperatures during July make this a good time of the year to start planting, especially if you are a beginner. Seeds will germinate much easier and seedlings will grow speedier meaning you will see the rewards of your hard work much quicker and with less hassle and fewer setbacks.
What to grow in July
There are still some great vegetables which you can plant now and continue producing vegetables right into Autumn/Winter:
Kale is a very versatile crop and is perfect to plant during July due to its excellent hardiness. Planting kale in July and August will make an excellent harvest in Autumn/Winter, alternatively you can eat the small leaves in salads in August/September and leave the plants to mature and survive the winter.
Lettuce is very robust and can be sown from early spring right through to autumn. If you direct sow lettuce seeds every three weeks then this will produce a continuous supply of tasty, crunchy lettuce leaves.
- Swiss Chard
One of the most decorative plants to grow, with brightly coloured edible stems in yellow, pink, orange green and red with dark green leaves – this is one of the prettiest and cheerful crops which you can grow. Sow now and you can harvest the crops from late summer into winter and even spring.
- Peas and Beans
Make your last sowings of peas outdoors now so they can develop before the frosts hit. Both bush and pole beans can be planted now that the soil and air are warmed up. Try a 7-10 day continual sowing will result in continuous bean crops rather than one large harvest which can lead to wasted crops.
Carrots, broccoli, corn, turnips and cucumbers can also be sown now; these will produce a crop harvest in Autumn/Winter, keeping your cupboards filled with fresh home grown produce throughout the colder months.
Vegetable growing hints and tips:
- Ensure all vegetables get a regular and consistent supply of water, especially during the hot weather. This is needed to enhance development and help avoid diseases.
- Check climbing vegetables are tied securely to supports.
- Climbing beans may need stopping to maximise cropping on existing sideshoots, this can be done by removing the main shoot and stopping them when they reach the top of their supports.
- Continue using your hoe to get rid of weeds in the dry weather, if this is done during the wetter months the weeds may re-root.
- Keep an eye out for potato and tomato blight and asparagus beetle
- Basil can be sown now, sow in pots to keep outside and bring indoors during the winter
- Fast-growing herbs are great to start growing now, you will get a crop quite fast – herbs such as coriander, dill, parsley, chervil and lovage can be sewn directly into the ground or into containers.
- If you know someone with a herb garden, why not ask them for some cuttings from herbs such as mint, thyme, rosemary, sage and tarragon. Alternatively you can buy these plants from a nursery now.
Flowers to sow and grow:
Your plants will need plenty of water during the summer months, you can re-use your ‘grey water’ for this and see our previous blog post about ‘eco gardening’ to see our tips for preserving water when watering your garden.
Lawns should be mowed once a week although with the dry weather it is advisable to leave the lawn a little longer so it retains moisture.
It is now time to look ahead and plan your autumn garden. There are many bulbs which can be planted now that will bloom in Autumn and add some colour to your flower beds when annuals and bedding plants are past their best. Autumn crocus and winter flowering pansies are a great choice.
Continue to sow any herbaceous plant seedlings, they will continue to flourish over winter and become strong and will flower in spring and don’t forget to check plants regularly for aphids this month.
Here are some great examples of summer flowers which thrive during summer and will continue blooming into the Autumnal months: Aster, Gloriosa daisy, Coreopsis, Dahlia, Purple coneflower and ‘Moonshine’ yarrow.
What can be grown in the greenhouse?
- July is an ideal time to sow spring-flowering perennials in seed trays filled with good quality compost. For example, Aguilegia Bellis, Delphinium and Lupins
- You can also sow summer-flowering perennials such as Scabiosa, Achilea, Echinacea and Geraniums.
- During the period between spring and summer flowering plants, why not fill the gap and try growing biennials such as Forget-me-nots, Foxgloves, Sweet William and Wallflowers.
Click here to see our full range of Greenhouses.
By now your garden should be full of colour and your flowerbeds at their best, sit back and enjoy your garden during the summer months but don’t forget the essential maintenance and remember there’s still time to grow in July.