Your sowing and growing guide for the height of summer
July is the time to finally see your plants, flowers, and fruits in full bloom.
Although the summer solstice is behind us, long, warm days with strong sunshine are typical throughout the month. So, while you're harvesting the crops you planted at the start of the year, you can also keep busy with sowing seeds to harvest just four to six weeks later!
Whether you're only just starting out or you're a seasoned polytunnel
grower, it's always worth keeping your efforts strong throughout summer. Knowing what seeds to plant in July – along with a few top tips for growing, sowing, and harvesting – could give you the most bountiful year yet.
Vegetable seeds to sow in July
July is the last month to start growing carrots. It's best to sow carrot seeds thinly and directly into shallow channels of healthy soil, or in pots of mostly soil-based compost. Take care to thin out carrot seedlings – this can encourage carrot fly, attracted to an aroma that is released when foliage is crushed, and put your crop at risk. You might also prefer to use a barrier like a sturdy garden cloche
to keep pests at bay.
Lettuce and other salad leaves
make a speedy, simple crop to grow in July. While their seeds can easily be sown through to September from March, the freshest, most delicious salad is always harvested in summer. Lettuce seeds are best sown in shallow pots or drills. For cut-and-come-again variants, you can harvest young leaves as and when you fancy.
If you're wondering what veg to plant in July before it's too late, think about beans. Generally, July is your last chance to plant Dwarf French and Runner beans – this is because the pods need ample time to mature before the first autumn frosts. These crops are best sown in the ground or in pots, with plenty of watering too.
Flower seeds to sow in July
With such an abundant choice, deciding which flowers to plant in July can become quite a task. Forget-me-not flower seeds can be sown through to September from early May and make a lovely contrast to other green foliage in your garden. Try to scatter the seeds in trays or raised beds
to mimic the natural seed dispersal process.
July is the last opportunity to sow seeds for these distinctive garden champions. Delphiniums look just as regal beside the kitchen window as they do when poised along the patio in rows. These striking, tall plants also make a great addition to your garden if you're hoping to attract more bees.
These are perhaps the easiest and most accessible flower seeds to sow in July. You can find pansy seeds at almost any local garden centre or even while buying groceries. By sowing the seeds now, your pansies will have plenty of time to develop before you plant them out in autumn. By next spring, you should see their beautiful, colourful blooms.
Our top five July gardening tips
Harvest the crops in your polytunnel
In July, lots of the crops grown in your polytunnel will be ready for harvest. While leafy salad greens will replenish and keep your household fed for the whole season, other veggies need to be cleared as soon as they're ready to go.
Courgettes should be at the top of your hit list: once they're ripe, you need to swiftly harvest them before they turn into marrows. You can also harvest seasonal delights like aubergines, chillies, cucumber, French beans, and tomatoes
too, of course.
With the new space, you can start to think about what to plant in your polytunnel in July. Sowing into modules or pots could yield an impressively quick turnaround, especially if you opt for leafy greens like basil, Florence fennel, Pak Choi, parsley, and various lettuce types.
Feed your lawn
Once summertime truly arrives in July, everything in your garden will be growing at a faster rate. Subsequently, you'll need to be mowing your lawn at least weekly to promote its overall health.
It's important not to let your grass dry out, either. Water it to prevent it from fading or turning brown and try using a fast-acting summer feed to renew growth. This last step is particularly important if you missed a spring feed.
Provide good ventilation
Choosing which vegetables to plant in July will largely depend on the type of growing environment, so it's important to know that ventilating your polytunnel is vital in summer. You can avoid a lot of problems, such as moulds or wilting plants, if you maintain good ventilation. Leave doors and vent screens open on hot, sunny days for maximum air movement. It may be worthwhile leaving doors and vent screens open overnight if the sun is up before you.
If you need to reduce wind chill or keep unwanted visitors, such as cats, rabbits, and birds, at bay while the doors are open, hang windbreak net or anti bird net across the door openings.
Now's the time to be watering more frequently and more heavily, especially during heatwaves. You should aim to water your polytunnel plants in the evening or early morning, rather than during the heat of the day, as this reduces the amount of water lost through evaporation. Plants in pots and containers may need watering daily. Why not make use of the July rainfall and collect rainwater from your polytunnel with the help of our polytunnel gutters.
Both in your polytunnel and around the garden, it's important to water mindfully through the warmer months of July and August. If you're going on holiday but have plans for seeds to sow in July, add a Premier Irrigation kit to your polytunnel and you can go away with the confidence that your seeds and established plants will still regularly receive the right amount of water.
Support the bees
Even though native crops will be flowering and nectar-rich flowers will be thriving in wild grasslands, bees benefit hugely from the support network you can build in your garden.
Help the bees (and by default, the birds!) by planting bergamot, lavender, and jasmine in your garden. Keep a distinct and clear flightpath between different flowers. If you have a bee house or beehive, try to make sure the entrance is free from overgrown shrubs and grass.
We can help with polytunnel growing all year
At Premier Polytunnels, we've been in the industry for over 35 years
. We lend our expertise to beginners and professionals alike to make sure you make the most of every harvest, no matter the season.
If you'd like to craft a safe, stable environment that promotes the growth of healthy crops throughout the year, browse our exclusive selection of polytunnels
online. Finding the right equipment for your garden or allotment should not be rushed, so we're always happy to offer advice – or just a second opinion. Don't hesitate to give us a ring
or send us an email
and one of our expert team will get back to you as soon as possible.