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It's not too late to sow late summer vegetables

There are lots of vegetables that can be sown in July for a late summer and early autumn crop with little effort, and by keeping up with your successional sowing it is easy to keep yourself in produce right in to the autumn and beyond.

  • Experiment with beetroot - beetroot sown now will be ready to harvest in October and in to November as this exciting root takes roughly 90 days to mature. Try alternative varieties to brighten your plate with 'Touchstone Gold' or 'Albino White' from The Real Seed Company.

  • Keep sowing carrots little and often for an October crop. 'Autumn King' is the English heirloom variety that you can start sowing now and in to January for split proof carrots, available from Suttons Seeds.

  • Consider your winter leaves and sow some spicy winter mustards greens such as 'Green Wave', winter salad leaves and radishes like 'French breakfast' to take you from September and beyond. Remember to sow little and often; every 4 weeks should do it for a continuous crop.

  • Cabbages are also on the agenda at this time of year and two varieties that will keep you in cabbage from January to May are 'Express Spring' a French variety which will cover your table from January to March and 'April Spring' which will see you right in April and May. So a bit of sowing now will get your hungry gap sorted.

What to sow this month for a productive garden: Resources

Flowers to sow in July

July is a great time to sow your Spring and Summer flowering perennials as well as starting to think about your winter containers.


Spring flowering perennials to sow now

Lupins and Delphiniums will add colour and height to your borders and can also be used as cut flowers, making them super value perennials. Try for the bright red Lupin 'Beefeater' or the cheery Lupin 'Tutti Fruiti Mix', a mixture of complimentary colours which will flower from June to August.

Delphiniums are the quintessential cottage garden flower with soaring spires of  beautiful blooms. The 'Magic Fountains Mix' with its white, lavender and lilac tones will add perennial romance to any garden.

Summer flowering perennials to sow now

Carrying bright, daisy-like flowers on metre tall stems, Echinacea purpurea looks wonderful dancing in grass borders or filling summer vases. Available from along with an array hardy Geraniums which will fill your borders and cover ground between larger planting. The most well loved must be the Meadow cranesbill 'Geranium pratense', with its deep violet flowers, but for something different, consider the Pyrenean cranesbill, 'Summer snow'. A more delicate cranesbill of pure white.

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Biennials to sow now

Keeping on top of your biennial sowing will guarantee you are kept in these garden stalwarts for many the seed and you'll be floriferous forever.

Hollyhocks are the infamous biennial and have been adding summer interest to cottage gardens for many years. The large seeds are easy to sow and save so look out for the double flowering 'Chaters double' as well as the bright, single flowered 'Halo white'.

Of course, it is impossible to think of biennials without thinking about foxgloves. The prolific self seeder will make itself at home in most gardens but if you want to keep a bit more control over your Digitalis then sow now for years of colour and happy bees. 'Suttons Apricot' is a delightful change to the vivid purple of the wild type which is abundantly available from wildflower seed distributors if naturalising a woodland is your aim. 


Flowers to direct sow now

July is the perfect time of year to sow directly in to the soil for a display next year. The weather is dry, the soil is warm so there is little chance of the seeds rotting away or failing to germinate. Plants will get a head start by driving down roots while the conditions are perfect. 

Myosotis, or 'Forget-Me-Not' as the common name, is one of our ultimate favourites for the cottage garden borders, providing some of the first colour of the year, with its misty blue, covering cool, damp soils and lifting a wet Spring garden in to glorious life.

Don't forget to plant your autumn flowering bulbs now. Colchicums, or Autumn crocus is perfect to add to moist soils now and in to August. They look beautiful naturalised in to grass as they appear devoid of leaves and hold themselves proud on bright stems.  

Thinking ahead to your Winter containers

January can be a dreary month for flowers, there isn't always the motivation to go in to the garden and certainly not a huge amount of colour to lift your post Christmas spirit. However, sow some Winter flowering pansies now and you'll have lovely, hardy pops of colour to group together in containers by your door, on your patio or in your borders. And as they are edible, you can still count them as kitchen garden garden produce as well. Often sold as a mix, try the F1 Super Hybrid Winter mix from Suttons Seeds.

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