Now that July is here and the vegetable garden is in full swing, it’s time to take a short rest. As I walk in the garden I know that I will be harvesting garlic and potatoes in a couple of weeks. What I haven’t decided is what will go in those beds once the crops are harvested. Do you know what you will plant when gaps start to appear in your garden? Early vegetables will finish and you could plant something else. There is no reason to have bare soil.
It’s important to start planning now if you want to have a second crop of vegetables in the fall or winter. You may need to start seeds indoors for transplanting out in August.
Plants such as cauliflower and Walla Walla onions come to mind as choices for the winter garden.Yesterday I planted some seeds for Galleon cauliflower and Walla Walla onions. Walla Walla onions are so easy to grow. My mistake was planting them in the spring when it should have been done in the fall. I didn’t lose my crop but they took a lot longer to mature. Growing onions from seed can take up to six months from sowing to harvest. Plant the seeds inside and transplant the tiny seedlings in late summer as temperatures cool down. This is usually the same time that I start to plant lettuce again. The seedlings will be tiny but I was amazed at how fast they grew in the spring.
You could also direct sow some vegetable seeds in July. Plants such as beets, kale, carrots, brussel sprouts and beans can be sown in July. If you don’t have room in the garden yet start some seeds in pots to transplant later.
Sowing beans in July will have you harvesting into the fall. I recommend getting your bean seeds in at the beginning of this month to ensure a harvest. Sometimes our late summer weather can be unpredictable here on the west coast. Remember that beans are sun lowers and the way the sun moves in the sky may affect the light on your garden. Beans love a warm sunny spot. Look for beans with a shorter days to harvest such as Maxibel filet beans which can be harvested in 55 days.
This July I will be sowing brussel sprouts seeds directly in the garden. This vegetable is new to our garden but we love fresh sprouts chopped up in salads. For more information on growing brussel sprouts I have a post on how to grow brussel sprouts. They are not the easiest vegetable to grow.
One plant I am definitely starting again is purple sprouting broccoli. This is one vegetable that survived the snowfall of 2016 without protection. I was able to harvest small heads of broccoli in late spring to bring to the table.
The last planting of carrots will be done this week. I decided to plant in one of the raised beds that gets a bit more shade in the late afternoon. Carrots have a hard time germinating in the heat of summer so if you are planting for a fall crop be sure to shade the seeds until they have germinated. Shading them can be as simple as placing a plant tray upside down over your planted area or using a layer of burlap over it. Carrot seeds germinate in about a week and you can remove the shade covers at this point.
Looks like I will be able to fill about three raised beds with fall and winter crops. I will plant according to rotation and plant families as best as space allows. In late fall I will erect covers over the gardens as the nights get colder. The roof that now covers the tomato bed will be converted to a cold frame and I will be reusing the pec piping and plastic to cover the bed above.
Do you grow vegetables year round? I would love to hear what you grow.