What to sow and plant in July
Head gardener Benjamin Pope shares his advice for what you should be planting in July
Head gardener Benjamin Pope is here to make sure your garden looks great all year round. His practical gardening magazine column series continues all year round, and his tips on what to plant in July are a taster of what you can expect. For the full column, subscribe to Gardens Illustrated magazine.
Don't miss our suggestions of the best flowers in July, what gardens to visit and the gardening jobs for the month.
What to plant in July
With summer in full swing, it’s easy to be seduced by the abundance of flowers and produce. Though as a gardener my mind looks to the seasons that will soon follow.
Now is a good time to start off wallflowers for early spring interest, sowing in seed trays or modules before planting in the ground – where I find they mature better into healthy, strong plants than if grown on in pots – and then transplanted to containers in late winter. For bright and bold combinations, I go for cultivars, such as ‘Scarlet Bedder’, ‘Sugar Rush Purple Bicolour’ or ‘Sunset Orange’, though the softer ‘Sunset Apricot’ and ‘Sunset Primrose’ are charmingly sophisticated.
For the plate, another sowing of French or runner beans, along with salad leaves, radish or turnips will prove fruitful this season, though looking ahead I start to sow fast-maturing carrots, such as ‘Nantes 5’ and winter-cropping endives and kales. Sowing chard ‘Bright Lights’ now will provide both colour and nourishment through winter, while onion ‘Rossa lunga di Firenze’ can be cropped early as a spring onion or will swell and stand through winter to be used for delicately flavouring dishes.
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