July is not only a season of the year

July is not only a season of the year

July is not only a season of the year; it is a season of the mind and memory. Hot days and sultry nights and crashing thunderstorms are a part of July, and to the drone of bees in the clover fields will soon be added the high-pitched sibilance of the cicada. The tang of ripe cherries and the sweetness of sunning hay...          ~Hal Borland

July is a good month to sow seeds for next year's flowers, in trays filled with good quality compost. For spring-flowering perennials next spring, try aquilegia x hybrida, lupins, bellis and delphinium hybridum. Likewise sow summer-flowering perennials such as scabious, echinacea and hardy geraniums or biennials forget-me-not and foxgloves

Winter containers? Start some viola hybrida or winter flowering pansies undercover.

For Sowing Direct Outdoors

HERBS: Sow basil in pots to keep on your patio now and to bring indoors for the winter. Sow fast-growing herbs such as coriander, dill, and parsley directly into the ground or into containers.

Make LAST outdoor sowings of peas, beetroot, quick growing ‘early’ carrots such as 'Nantes, 'Adelaide' and 'Amsterdam Forcing', French beans and runner beans, (expect to start harvesting these in late August).

FIRST sowings of Spring cabbages such as 'Durham Early' should be made now in a well-prepared seedbed for transplanting later plus overwintering Swiss chard to crop in the spring.

CONTINUE to direct sow lettuce, radishes and spring onions every three weeks for a continuous supply. Direct sow salad leaves regularly throughout the summer, picking the leaves when small. Be sure to water salad seedlings frequently in hot weather and expect to start harvesting within a month.

NOW start your first direct sown crops of pak choi as they’re prone to bolting if grown before midsummer. Add in some radicchio for colourful stir-fries. Direct sow turnips and kohlrabi ready to harvest in 60 days. Also corn salad, endive and perpetual spinach for autumn and winter cropping. 

 And you thought you were going away on holiday!

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