What to sow: Midsummer

Sow these delicious edible plants now, for cropping from late summer to next spring, to extend your harvests and fill your table with homegrown healthy food.

It’s a little sad to think that once the summer solstice has passed the days are gradually getting shorter, but for many vegetables this is an ideal sowing time, especially for those which bolt if sown before the longest day.

Here’s a list of what I am sowing now and over the next couple of weeks. Of course I am not suggesting that you have to sow all of these things, the list is to show you what you can sow now. Choose what you fancy.

I mostly sow into seed or module trays first and then planted out as little transplants later on. Although this does take more time than sowing direct, and uses more compost of course, it works well for me because there’s still other veg growing where these need to go, such as early peas, potatoes and over wintered brassicas. Also, because I am still setting up this new garden, some will have to wait for me to make the beds first!

Sowing now and growing on as transplants means that when I do get to put them in the ground, they will already be several weeks old, and will crop earlier.

Also sturdy transplants are less likely to be munched by slugs than tender new shoots emerging from the ground.

Do what works best for you!

No time or space to sow? No problem! Ask other gardeners locally whether they will have any spare plants and of course there is absolutely nothing wrong with ordering transplants online. Good gardeners do not have to grow everything from seed 🙂

If you’re going away on holiday factor this into your sowing schedule. Seedlings grow quickly so don’t sow before heading off for two weeks or they may get too leggy to thrive, or keel over altogether. I am not going away on holiday this summer but I am working away a lot (giving talks in the UK and Ireland) and I have my son Ruairi here to water.

July can be a dry month so remember to keep seeds and new transplants well watered. If you live in an area with flea beetle cover brassicas with enviromesh to protect against these tiny nibblers. Enviromesh is also helpful against leek moth and carrot root fly.

covering leaves prone to flea beetle attack with enviromesh spread across cloche hoops made from 5mm (0.2in) wire

Seasonal tip: now is a good time to order seed potatoes for “Christmas Spuds”. Late July and August is the usual planting time for these. Most seed companies offer several varieties to grow as new potatoes for the winter festive season and try your local garden centre too.

What to sow around midsummer

Veg:

Beetroot
Beans – bush (aka ‘dwarf’) and climbing
Broccoli – sprouting varieties
Cabbage (winter and spring varieties)
Calabrese
Carrots (choose root fly resistant varieties if this is a problem where you live)
Cauliflower (autumn & winter varieties)
Chard
Chicories and radicchio
Courgette (for growing undercover as a late crop)
Endive
Florence Fennel
Kale
Kalettes (aka ‘flower sprouts’)
Kohl Rabi
Lettuces
Pak Choi
Parsnips (yes really!)
Peas for pods and pea shoots (peas can get mildew & pea moth, so check your area)
Radishes
Rocket (flea beetle loves it though)
Turnips
Spring Onion
Swede

Annual herbs:

Basil
Chives
Coriander
Dill
Parsley
Perilla/Shiso

Edible flowers:

Calendula
Chamomile
Cornflowers
Courgettes for the flowers
Gem marigolds
Nasturtiums
Viola

Sorry not to list all of the specific varieties that I use, I grow so many that there isn’t the time 🙂 At least eight varieties of kale for example, a dozen kinds of basil….!!

8 thoughts on “What to sow: Midsummer”

  1. Absolutely brilliant. That was just what I needed to know. I hurt my back and then been up to my ears in work so I’m behind with everything. I’m finally free in a couple of weeks and can focus properly on the veggies. Do you think leeks would work sown now?

    1. Stephanie Hafferty

      Thanks Jo. Leeks sown now will grow and produce a harvest, but most likely just make baby leeks rather than big fat ones, before they go to flower next spring. However they still taste good so if you have the space go ahead.

  2. I still have some seed potatoes which, due to illness , didn’t get planted in the spring They look ok, no overlong sprouts. Would they be ok to plant now or late July ? Thanks

  3. Great post thanks. I have a terrible problem with flea beetle this year. Too late to cover. I’ve tried spraying with neem to no avail. Any ideas? Thanks.

    1. Stephanie Hafferty

      The are a real issue in many places sadly.

      I don’t use any pesticides. Neem isn’t licensed for use in the UK as a pesticide either. I am sure you didn’t realise that neem will harm other creatures too, including soil life, so it’s best to avoid it.

      The happy news is that research is showing that there are some parasitic wasps that seem to be feeding on flea beetles, so hopefully the wasps will spread.

  4. Brilliant, I’ve moved from Isle of Wight to wet and windy county Mayo and have landed an exiting job in community poly tunnel. Am trying to grow as many module plants so to keep things full up. List is great thank you.

    1. Stephanie Hafferty

      That’s great news, Heather, enjoy your new job. My Uncle Brendan and Aunty Fran live in Mayo 🙂

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