I don’t know about you, but I always find this time of year a tad anti-climatic. Of course, I love all the produce that has started to come off the allotment, but I still find myself coming over all wistful in the greenhouse.
The reason? There are next to no pots on my sowing bench. Spring is so exciting, as you fill up every available space with sowings, ready to plant out later. July is bereft of all this. I yearn for the time spent with seed packets in hand, sowing anything I can get my hands on.
In the past, I have addressed this by searching thoroughly through my seedbox looking for things to sow, and experimenting with ongoing sowings of crops such as peas and French beans.
Here are my top seeds to sow in July in case, like me, you’re suffering a seed sowing comedown.
I planted two rows of beetroot on Saturday afternoon. Although I love beets, there are only so many of the purple balls one man and his wife can eat, so I like to pickle the surplus. It’s nice for the plot to produce to make an appearance in salads over winter, and with jars of decent pickled beets priced at £1.50 in the shops, it saves me a few quid too.
July has also seen a container sowing of Autumn King seeds going in. I do this most years, and not only do they carry on slowly growing, but they keep in the soil through into March time. Much better than pulling up and storing in the sand.
It seems funny thinking about winter while I’m wandering around in shorts and it’s still light after 9 pm, but the football season’s starting very soon and I’m now sowing spring greens for January and February. I normally start a few off now, and then some more in six weeks-ish time, and transfer over to the plot when they get a few inches high.
Even though most French bean seed packets suggest sowing until June, I always sow in July and August.
In recent years, I’ve sown the reliable, productive dwarf green types.
Tendergreen is my favourite, and has been brilliant on my allotment. Sowing in July and August has ensured a constant supply of beans all through summer, as well as plenty spare to freeze for Winter.
Peas and Mangetout
I make my earlier pea sowings under cover, but once the warm weather arrives, you can continue to sow your earlies and maincrop outside (such as Onward) into July. Late summer sowings grow fast and are a great idea for freezer crops.
During July the soil is also sufficiently warm for direct sowing of the trusty old runner. The traditional way of growing this plot favourite is up a wigwam, made up of 6 or 7 canes. I love growing veg up structures as I think it adds real interest to an allotment, and with their striking red or white flowers, runner beans make for a very attractive late Summer plant.