Last Updated on August 7, 2023 by Real Men Sow
The vegetable plot becomes a place for harvesting, not midsummer vegetable sowing or growing. Space often remains empty after the potatoes and early greens have been picked. As early-season enthusiasm for growing your own vegetable wanes, gaps in containers and raised beds are common.
If you don’t organise now, your home-grown vegetables will likely end in September. Your raised beds and plot space may also be gone until next spring. Here are some suggestions for what you can sow and how to grow it now. These could be started in cell trays and then transferred to the garden as needed.
If the weather is dry and hot, this may be an easier choice. The seeds need moisture to germinate. If you are unable to water the soil daily, it might be easier to keep an eye on a cell tray.
Cool conditions are preferred by most salad leaves. Hot conditions can cause rockets to bolt almost instantly and go to seed. If your vegetable plot or raised bed is too hot, you can shade sow it in a container and let it grow there. This can also be done with fast-maturing salad leaves.
When sown in warm weather, the annual spinach varieties are fast-growing and almost always bolt. Perpetual spinach is a better option. You could harvest your spinach through winter and spring if it is sown in the middle of summer. It is a good idea to cover it in winter if it is wet.
These seeds are large and spiny, they are multilocular. This means they can be a group of individual seeds. You will get several seedlings out of each one. Place thinly in the open ground, or in containers. After the seeds have germinated, thin the leaves to a minimum of 3 cm (1″) apart.
To fill in gaps between rows, you can also transplant some. When the true leaves reach 5cm (2″) in height, water the well and fertilise with liquid vegetable fertiliser.
Chard looks a lot like perpetual spinach, but its stalk is longer and more defined. The normal one has a white stalk, while the ruby chard has a red stalk and the rainbow chard has a mixture of red and yellow shades. They are all worth growing. You can pick them as salad leaves and let them grow as autumn or winter leaf vegetable.
The cultivation process is the same for perpetual spinach. However, they can be started in cell trays and transplanted into gaps or containers in the border. An attractive decoration is a patio pot with ruby or rainbow chard. It also provides vegetables nearby.
Nero de Toscana kale (Black Cabbage)
It’s typically used for winter greens because of its dark, robust, and narrow leaves. It can also be grown as a summer or salad leaf. You can plant a few seeds in each of the larger cells of a tray to grow fast. The leaves can be tossed in a pan or steamed if they are picked early.
It can be sown in the middle of summer and harvested in late summer as salad leaves. Then it can be grown to produce greens in autumn or winter. It is an excellent choice for containers and can be used to fill in gaps between other crops. You can sow several at a time but allow for a few weeks between each one.
These plants are almost impossible to grow in the traditional manner and can often be too large when they are planted out.
A dibber is best for planting leeks deeply. This is especially true for young plants with bare roots. This encourages the growth of a longer, whiter shaft. You can still sow leeks in the middle of summer, whether in a tray, in containers, or on the ground. Once the grassy seedlings have grown to a size that is easy to handle, you can lift them up and shake off any soil or other growing medium.
Next, remove the leaves tops and the roots from the ground. Use a drill to make a hole and then drop the plant in it. You can water them by pouring water into each hole. This helps to settle the soil around the roots.
Other vegetables to sow in midsummer
- Cabbage (pointed varieties grow fastest)
- Radish (again they prefer cool weather)
- Carrot (check for fast-maturing varieties)
- Pak Choi
The best thing is to visit a garden centre and browse the seed packets. Timings will vary depending on where you live and what the growing conditions are in a given year. It is also possible to grow in ideal conditions if autumn weather remains warm and there are no frosty conditions.