If you are new to gardening, you might think about planting seeds as something that you can only do in the spring. But with some careful planning, you can grow your own food all year round – and that means planting seeds well into the summer months too.
It’s not too late! Here are 10 vegetables that you could still consider growing from seed this year.
Lettuce can be grown pretty much all year round, especially if you can give your plants a little extra protection in the winter months. The key thing to remember, however, is that there are different types of lettuce: loose leaf, cos/ romaine, butterhead and iceberg.
There are different lettuces within each of these types suited to growing at certain times of the year. All summer long, you can plant loose leaf varieties and enjoy a quick harvest in a month to six weeks time.
In early summer, you can still also plant many cos/romaine type lettuces that will mature before the end of the season, and later in summer, you can plant winter lettuces that will survive the winter with a little protection.
If you like some variety in your salads, then rocket is another leafy vegetable that can be planted throughout the summer months. This, like loose leaf lettuce, will provide a quick crop within a couple of months, and can also be cut and will come again.
Another fast-growing crop that you can still sow throughout June, July and August is radishes.
These too can produce a crop before the end of the growing season. Be sure to sow successionally, so you can enjoy radishes over a longer period, and leave one plant to go to flower – not only can you collect more seeds to plant next year, you can also eat the delicious seed pods when they form.
4. Spring Onions
You can sow spring onions in June or July to use as small spring onions later in the season, or sow in August for an overwintering crop that can be harvested in the spring.
As your spring onions grow, thin out the plants – but don’t throw the ones you thin out away, use them in your summer salads.
5. Zucchini & Summer Squash
You might want to get a wriggle on if you want to grow zucchini and summer squash this year. But if you manage to sow these in early summer, before the end of June, you should still get a worthwhile harvest by the end of the year.
You can give your zucchini and squash a little extra time by providing them with protection before the first frosts later in the year.
6. Runner Beans
In June and July, you also still have time to direct sow runner beans where they are to grow. Make sure you provide them with supports to climb up. You will be amazed by how these vining plants ‘run’ up their supports during a sunny summer.
7. French Beans
French beans can also still be direct sown in a sunny spot or in a polytunnel. While you may not have time to allow these to come to full maturity for dry beans, you should get a worthwhile crop of green beans before the end of the season.
People tend to think of peas as a cool-weather spring crop. But you can also sow peas successionally throughout June and July for a later harvest. Even later in the summer, you can sow peas to use as pea shoots – a delicious addition to a salad, and could still squeeze in a crop of mange tout.
Pea varieties suitable for overwintering can also be sown in September and October, to provide an early crop in the spring.
Carrots can also be sown throughout the spring and summer, from February right through to early July. Consider growing baby carrots for a faster summer or autumn harvest, and maincrop carrots to store over the winter months. You can thin out your maincrop carrots sown in June or July, and eat the baby carrots you thin.
Beetroot can also be sown in June and July and eaten as baby beetroot for salads in a couple of month’s time. They can also be grown to maturity and lifted in October for winter storage and use over the coldest months.
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