July is the month to plant

Now is the time to plant your seeds for a Fall harvest. Most likely your Spring crop is coming to an end and it is time to reset for the Fall. Did you miss the boat on planting a garden this last Spring? Have you always wanted to try growing veggies? Don’t fret, you have another chance and it is now.

July is sort of like the “New Year” for gardeners. A great time to reset, clean house, and try new things based on what you learned or didn’t do but wanted to do in the Spring. What you need to do now:

  • Finish harvesting your Spring crop – my lettuce bolted (the heat causes the plant to produce flowers and seeds and abandons leaf growth) so I harvested the remaining lettuce leaves and then removed the plants. DSC_0588
  • Clear out any plants that are done producing crop – peas, radishes, broccoli, garlic, and spinach have all completed their Spring harvest and have been cleared from my garden beds.
  • Prepare your soil – after you make space, be sure to add compost and fertilizer to the soil. Learn how to get your soil ready for planting. 
  • Decide what you want to grow this Fall – July is the perfect month to direct seed carrots, radishes, and green beans. I am also taking a chance and direct seeding lettuce, spinach, arugula, and beets (sometimes the seeds don’t germinate when soil temperatures exceed 75 degrees fahrenheit).
  • Get your seeds in the ground and WATER – it is hot and dry. Be sure to keep your soil wet so that your seeds can germinate and grow. DSC_0625

If you have extra time and energy, grow starts of lettuce, kale, broccoli (and any other plants that you can easily transplant). This is my backup plan if it becomes too hot and the lettuce seeds that I directly seeded don’t germinate. I will start lettuce, kale, and broccoli in starter containers and keep them in a cooler location (on my deck). Then I will have plants that are ready to be put into the garden bed as soon as another plant has completed its harvest.

One key lesson that I learned last year was to plant Fall crop in July and early August at the latest. So plant your seeds now and try to directly seed one more round at the end of the month. You should have crop that lasts up until the 1st frost (November in Seattle).

What to directly seed now:

  • Carrots
  • Bush beans
  • Radish
  • Lettuce
  • Arugula
  • Spinach
  • Beets
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Chard
  • Collards
  • Peas – I am going to try one more round of peasDSC_0627

Note: If you don’t have a yard, but have a deck or outdoor space, you can still grow veggies. This is your time! Find pots, old tubs, whatever fits in your space. Be sure to prepare your soil and then directly seed into the containers. Make sure there are drainage holes in your containers.

Don’t miss this prime time to plant for Fall crop and possibly, try growing veggies for the very first time.

Always feel free to leave questions or tips in the Comment section.

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