We’re into the height of summer now, and you might be thinking it’s too late to plant anything and enjoy it’s flowers or harvest this year. But there are still lots of things you can plant this month that will give your garden a boost, or prepare it for the later months of the year. Here’s what to plant in July.
Flowers to plant in July
Summer bedding plants
At this time of year a few bedding plants are a great way to fill any gaps in your borders, or provide an instant display of colour in containers.
If you’re using bedding plants in containers, think about mixing some perennial plants in with them. Doing this means you only need to replace the annuals rather than the whole thing once the plants have finished flowering. Try to use good quality *compost, and remember to feed your plants with suitable *outdoor plant food. Plants grown in containers will quickly exhaust the nutrients in their soil.
Biennial flowers for next year
If you’ve planted out most of your seedlings by now, you might have some room on your windowsills or in the greenhouse. This makes July a great time to get super-organised and sow biennial flower seeds for next years plants.
Biennial plants produce leaves in their first year, and flowers in their second year. Foxgloves, wallflowers, pansies, honesty, sweet rocket and hollyhocks are all popular biennials. Sow them in pots or trays of compost, and plant them out in late summer or early autumn. This allows the plants to get established over winter, ready to do their thing in spring.
Spring flowering perennials
July is also a great month to sow seeds for next spring’s flowers. Lupins, delpihiniums, bellis and aquilegias are all good options. You will probably need to give the young plants protection over winter, so think about how much space you have for this when you’re sowing your seeds.
Winter flowering bedding plants
If you’ve got room for even more seedlings, you can save yourself money on winter bedding plants by growing them from seed. Winter pansies, violas and primroses can all be planted now to give you a head start on adding colour to the garden in winter.
Vegetables to plant in July
Salad leaves grow super-fast at this time of year, and they can quickly go to seed if you don’t keep picking and eating them. Sowing seeds little and often is the best way to make sure you have a constant supply; aim to sow every couple of weeks. This is a great gardening task to do with the kids: here’s how to get them involved.
There’s still time to grow a crop of beetroot if you plant seeds this month. Sow them directly into the soil; they’re well-suited to containers too. Beetroot’s flavour will be at it’s best when it’s young and small, so don’t feel guilty about harvesting as soon as you can!
Radish is a speedy veg, so you can plant seeds and have a harvest within a few weeks. Sow the seeds directly into the soil, about 1cm deep and in rows 15cm apart. Thin out the seedlings while they are small, leaving 2-4cm between plants. Like salad, this is a good vegetable to plant little and often to provide a continuous crop throughout summer.
Dwarf french beans
French beans are another quick-growing crop that you can harvest within a couple of months. Sow the seeds in pots of compost and plant them out when they reach about 15-20cm tall, or sow them directly into their growing site. Dwarf french beans are small plants, so they’re an ideal vegetable to grow in containers too.
Swedes & Turnips
Winter vegetables feel like such a long way off, don’t they? But turnips and swedes take up to six months to mature, so sowing the seeds now will give you a crop in winter – perfect for hearty soups and lovely roasted root veg. Swede and turnips like moist soil, so try not to let them dry out in warm weather.
Full of calcium and antioxidants, kale is now seen as a superfood and pops up in lots of cookbooks and juice bar menus. If you’d like to try growing your own, you can sow kale seeds in July and they’ll be ready to harvest in 3-4 months. You can also buy kale as small plants to speed up the crop.
If you’re growing kale from seed, start it off in trays and plant out your seedlings when they are nice and sturdy. Remove any flower shoots that form as the plants grow, this will encourage lots of leaves. You can pick young leaves and add them to salads, but the plants can also be harvested throughout winter for stews and soups.
Winter vegetable plants
If you’re keen to grow more vegetables in the winter months, now is the time to get some plants in the ground. We’ve covered kale and turnips already, but you can also plant winter cabbage, cauliflowers, leeks and Brussels sprouts this month. You should be able to find these as small plants in the garden centre.
Bulbs to plant in July
Autumn flowering bulbs
Autumn flowering bulbs such as Nerines and Autumn crocus should be planted in summer. Nerines like a sunny spot, while Autumn crocus enjoy a shadier location. Both plants will be happiest in well-drained soil, so make sure you avoid the soggier areas of the garden.
I’ve got a separate post on planting bulbs which includes a step-by-step guide, you can check it out here.
You might also find my post on quick and easy garden jobs for July useful this month. And if you’re a bit behind with your planting, head over to my post on what to plant in June for more inspiration.
Will you be growing any of my suggestions for what to plant in July? Or are you having a rest from the planting this month? Let me know in the comments.
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