Summer Planting Guide July 2020

We expect to have summer plants available until mid-August, perfect for plugging any gaps that come up after harvesting, replacing crops that have been lost (anyone else struggled with blight this year?!) and for popping in extra planters & pots to expand your plot. Here’s a guide to what you can plant over the next 4-5 weeks.

You can plant tomatoes and cucumbers under cover or outside in a sheltered sunny spot. Pinch July planted tomatoes out regularly as they grow and pinch off the growing tip when plants reach chest height (not for Tiny Tim tomatoes as this is a little bush variety so you can just let it do its thing!) and they should produce a good crop for you.  Likewise, pinch cucumbers plants out quite regularly as they grow to leave just a few flowers/fruits on each vine and you should get a few good sized fruits from each plant.

Leaves and lettuces are excellent for planting through summer – they grow quickly and if you treat them as cut and come again they will carry on cropping until autumn. They are brilliant for popping in any gaps that crop up.

You can plant French beans and runner beans in the next couple of weeks too as they will grow quite quickly and will soon start to flower and produce their crop – we have dwarf varieties in stock and these take up little space (20cm apart) so can be grown in between rows of other veggies. Peas and mangetout are quick growers and you can plant them now for cropping in August/Early September. Prop up a strip of chickenwire between two bamboo stakes at the back of a raised bed and they will grow quite happily hardly taking up any space at all.

Leeks can be planted out now for harvesting between late Autumn and over the winter, they only need 20cm between plants, s great for planting up in between rows of other crops. You can also plant out beetroot for autumn crop (another great crop for plugging gaps – they can be planted 10cm apart)

July and early August is arguably the best time for planting brassicas for an autumn/winter crop. Get your Brussels Sprouts in the ground for Christmas, and don’t forget the Red Cabbage. If you like kale, then Cavolo Nero, Red Russian Kale and Curly Kale will all grow quickly and you can expect to harvest leaves from them within 4-5 weeks of planting out right through autumn, and both Purple Sprouting Broccoli and Calabrese Broccoli can be planted now for a late autumn crop – they will probably keep on going through winter too! Most brassicas need a bit of space, 40cm between plants, so would be best in a dedicated raised bed if you have time/energy to build a new one! (Curly Kale is smaller, 20cm apart is fine, so this is a better option if space is limited).

Herbs can be planted any time from now until August. We’ve already made some available – rosemary, mint, comfrey – and there are more to follow in the next week or so as the plants reach the right size for shipping! You can also plant potted fruit – we have some strawberries available and if they are planted in the next week or so you should get your first crop in late summer! Blackberry plants can be planted now, and you’ll get a good autumn crop from those. Our potted Rhubarb is looking great right now – plant it in pots or in the ground and enjoy a nice early crop next spring.