What Seeds To Sow In July? Is It Too Late To Sow This In July? These Are Common Questions & I Have The Answers
Gardening can seem complex and a bit overwhelming sometimes and I’m often asked about Seeds to Sow in July. So here are my July Seed Sowing Suggestions.
My only caveat is that not every garden is the same. So the suggestions made here are relevant to my mild south Devon garden most years. You will need to modify the dates and timings for other areas, soil types and climes.
So with the summer solstice just over and plenty of warm days and light nights here’s my list of Seeds to Sow in July
A great herb for pizzas and other kitchen use. Easy to grow in a matter of weeks and excellent with tomatoes in salads or sandwiches!
Try the multi-coloured varieties for a colourful salad. You can sow direct of multi-seed blocks for quick transplanting when you have space.
It’s too late for some areas but here in Devon, a later sowing is fine. Especially as broccoli is at its best when it matures in cooler weather. Late sown crops should mature in early winter.
There are so many varieties of cabbage that there’s one for most months. Check the seed catalogues and find one for your area.
My best carrots come from July sowings. The flavour is even better and we’ve missed the earlier carrot fly problems. And to make extra sure I sow in large containers and cover them with fleece.
July is a risky month for cauli sowing. But in some years it will work!
Not many people grow chicory, which is a pity. Non-forcing varieties can be sown in July. Check the catalogues and discover more.
In pots or direct drill at this time of year. A must for curry lovers but also great in salads. I sow it every month.
Sow them direct in the soil or in modules for transplanting and you’ll get a heavy crop before the autumn frosts set in.
I sow a lot at this time of year as any surplus are made into pickle.
If you love the aniseed flavour of fennel, raw in salads, or cooked with meats, it’s not too late to sow a few more to fill gaps as early crops are harvested.
I prefer to sow in modules and transplant to get the maximum crop in my small garden.
Kale is a crop that’s taken off in recent years. It used to be poor man’s fayre in winter and farmworkers would pull a few leaves off of cow kale before the cows ate it!
Then cavolo nero became trendy and the must-have in top-end restaurants that wouldn’t use the word kale on their menus. But of course, cavolo nero is just Tuscan kale, sometimes known as black kale or black cabbage.
The great thing about kale is that there are dozens of varieties and they are pick and come again crops. Simply harvest a few leaves off each plant and they keep on growing more tender young leaves. And if you leave them over winter they go then flower and the flower buds make a delicious meal as well.
The rough translation is turnip cabbage but it tastes something like a turnip crossed with a crunchy water chestnut. You’ll love it or hate it! I love it provided its a medium-sized “bulb” and hasn’t gone big and woody.
Sometimes called American cress this is a watercress substitute and needs less water than watercress. It does prefer it damp though. Sowings made after the summer solstice tend not to go to seed so quick as those before this date. So July is a great time to sow it.
Most people say it’s much too late to sow leeks but it’s not really true. I break with tradition and sow a variety called Nipper that matures in ten weeks. The leeks aren’t the huge ones you buy from greengrocers but they are about 20mm in diameter and have a beautifully subtle flavour.
Other varieties will probably do just as well so it might be worth using up any old seed you have.
Interestingly my early outdoor leeks will be ready to harvest just before I sow this later crop. And the main crop leeks will last all winter … unless we eat them before March.
Every day is a lettuce sowing day. Well potentially anyway. Lettuce can be sown all year and the harvest date depends on the number of hours of daylight the crop gets. So as the days get shorter they will take longer to mature. But if you harvest a few leaves to a time that doesn’t matter. And later in the year I’ll explain how to grow lettuce to last all winter in a greenhouse or tunnel. For now, keep sowing every ten days or so. And as the month proceeds sow even more frequently if you want to crop o under glass in autumn.
More Seeds to Sow in July
Mooli is a long white radish that can be stored if required. Sow them direct or in modules and ideally give them a bit of shade whilst germinating
Great for stir-fries and other Chinese dishes. I like to stir fry them with a hint of sesame seed oil and then sprinkle them with sesame seeds.
Pak choi can also be eaten raw in salads and bring a bit of crunch.
The great thing is they can be direct sown in buckets or large containers, with the thinnings being used whilst small, and the remaining plants left to grow bigger.
Although it can be sown any time of year this is a great time to sow in pots or direct in the soil. Potted crops can be kept on the kitchen windowsill ready for immediate use. But I prefer outdoor-grown parsley as it tastes a bit stronger due to slower growth.
Another crop that can be sown almost any warm month. I start them in a bit of guttering and transfer them to the container when a few inches high. The first crop can be taken a week or ten days later if the weather has been kind.
I’m thinking traditional French radish here and have listed Mooli and Spanish black radish separately. I never sow radish on their own but grow them as a catch crop. The idea is that when you sow something like carrots you drop a few radish in with them. They mark the rows and can be harvested as the carrots grow. Sowing to harvest is about four weeks.
A great crop to slip in to any spare space you have. They need so little space that I just keep adding a few here and there to fill in gaps in my No Dig beds
Spanish black radish
Where mooli are white radish this is the black radish. Spanish black is often regarded as a lot more peppery than mooli or French radish.
Spinach is another fast growing crop. Maturing in 35-45 days it’s quite possible to start picking leaves in less than three weeks if the weather is kind. And if you take just a few leaves per plant each time you harvest the plants will keep going for a considerable time.
Another brassica crop that matures quickly. Sow on the first of the month and you could be enjoying succulent baby turnips by month end. 30-60 days is the average time from sowing to harvest depending on variety and conditions, and July can be a fast growing month.
Watercress doesn’t need running water as many think. It’s happy with shallow still water but just wants to keep its “feet” wet. I germinate mine in a recycled grape punnet filled with compost, and once of a size I can handle, I transplant it into more grape punnets. My planting density is 2-3 plants per punnet and I water each day. The punnets stand in a shallow tray that retains a centimetre of water when filled.
Growth is rapid and as soon as it is lightly harvested it soon fills the punnet again.
Keep it protected from birds, especially pigeons, as they seem to love the peppery taste and strip it very quickly.
Wok Broc, Chinese broccoli, Kichi, Kailan Kichi, Chinese Kale
Wok Broc, or Kailan in Cantonese is one of those wonderful crops that can be sown from spring to autumn and will keep cropping. It’s a bit like a sprouting broccoli, with a hint of kale flavour, and is a cut and come again veg. Though if cut right back in early winter, and protected, will often sprout again with a flush of new crop in early spring. I’m sowing successionally from July onwards this year and will grow it alongside my baby kale in the greenhouse over winter.
Sown in July it should start cropping in 8-10 weeks.
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