What seeds can I sow in July? Well there are an awful lot of them!
Today I’m going to talk about some of the seeds you can sow outdoors, straight into the ground, in July. I’ll start, as always, by saying you’ll need to adjust your times according to where you live. So let’s have a look at the seeds.
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French beans can be sown now. I grow a variety called Purple Teepee, but any variety of dwarf bean can be sown during July.
And it’s still not too late to sow some peas. Make sure that you’ve got an early dwarf variety, so they don’t have to grow too tall before they flower and that way you should still get a crop before the autumn.
You can sow the next batch of carrots. I like a variety called Autumn King, but also try varieties with different colors, like Yellowstone which is a yellow carrot. By continuing to sow little and often, you will have a harvest right through the autumn and winter.
Sow beets now as well. Known as beetroot in the UK. My two preferred varieties are Chioggia, a pink and white candy stripe and a deep red one called Alvaro Mono. For wine-making I grow Boltardy or Cylindra. For roasting I grow a white beet, which we think has a slighter milder taste than the red varieties.
And you can continue to sow turnips. I regularly grow three varieties, Snowball, Purple Top Milan and Goldana.
Multi sowing in modules
Beets and turnips respond well to multi sowing in modules. Sow three or four seeds per module and then when they’re a inch or so in size, plant them out into the garden to grow on. You don’t need to thin them out as they grow, they will just push themselves apart and you can just harvest them in individually or in small groups of three and four.
Leafy greens seeds to sow in July
You can continue to sow leaf beets, something like rainbow chard or five-colour chard to give you a continuous supply of fresh young leaves. Or you can leave them to grow a bit larger and harvest the larger leaves.
Sow red and sugar chicory now. Likewise July is a good time to start growing endive.
There’s still plenty of time to sow spring onions, try a variety like Guardsman.
Radishes can be sown in July. Radish are a quick growing crop that can be harvested in four to five weeks.
Winter spinach can go in towards the end of the month, as can winter salad leaves like mustard Oriental Ruby Streaks. I talk about this one a lot because I really like it, so now is the time to start getting this in. Sow it thinly, straight into the ground and harvest frequently, because the younger leaves are actually much nicer than the ones as they get really mature, where they get just a little bit tough and very fiery.
July is the time to think about lettuces for the autumn. Varieties like Little Gem can be sown throughout July and also Lollo Rosso.
It’s an idea I saw from Charles Dowding, which I think it’s a really good idea. Take the outer leaves and allow the center to continue to grow to provide a continued supply of lettuce leaves.
If you’re quick there’s just about time to get in some more Purple Sprouting Broccoli. You probably need to do it right at the beginning of July, but that will then give you a later harvest next spring. July is a great time to sow Spring Cabbages, a variety called April has grown well for us at Byther Farm.
Sow Kohl Rabi throughout July. Serve grated in salads, or try them roasted in a tray of mixed root vegetables.
And Chinese Cabbages could be sown now. I think Chinese cabbage is a really good filler, they pad out a salad and give it a different taste and texture. But I also like to split them right down the middle and take the two halves, pop them into a frying pan with a knob of butter, a little bit of salt and pepper and saute them and it’s just a lovely side dish to a main meal.
Staggered sowing and protecting your plants
Try staggered sowings, some now, some at the end of the month and some next month, to ensure a continuity of harvest next spring. There are some simple ways to protect your plants from attack by cabbage white butterflies and cabbage moths. See my guide to creating a simple brassica tunnel.
Dill and Cilantro, known as coriander in the UK, can be sown now for a continued supply of fresh leaves. And Basil can be sown if you have cooler weather.
And Parsley can be sown now. I think parsley is a really useful herb to have in the garden. It can be added to salads, as well as to things like soups and stews or omelettes and I like to harvest some, chop it up and freeze it, so that I have it to use right through the winter. For more ideas of how to make your harvests be even better value, I have written a guide for how to get the most from your vegetables.
And although it doesn’t seem like it’s the right time of year, potatoes can be planted this month too. Use a first early seed potato and because they are going into warm ground, they should romp away really quickly and in 12 weeks time (towards the end of September), you should be able to harvest some new potatoes.
No dig potatoes
Potatoes without the need to dig the ground are a great way to reduce the amount of work in your garden. I grow the potatoes using a no dig method. Alternatively you can plant the seed potatoes in containers and grown them on to a slightly larger size. See this article for a step by step guide of How to grow potatoes in containers.