What’s Growing in the July Vegetable Garden

What’s Growing in the July Vegetable Garden

This year, I haven’t planned as successfully for succession growing of quick crops like lettuces and salads, and I’m late to the brassica party too. We had a lot of renovations going on inside the house, and a lot of work in the garden to get the space we needed to grow, and so actually sowing and growing has been a little bit delayed. I’ve also been quite ill for the past few weeks with a bad chest infection. I think I’m finally on the mend, but it has meant I’ve not got as much gardening done as I’d like.

That being said, here’s a little update on what’s doing well, and not so well, in the July vegetable garden.

Three Sisters coming on well. The corn is approaching 5 feet high now, the beans are starting to climb and flower, and the pumpkins and squash are trailing and providing ground cover
Flowers on runner bean ‘Greek Gigantes’

My early potatoes haven’t done brilliantly this year. I won’t be growing potatoes in sacks again, except for winter harvesting. The volume I grow is too compost and water intensive when grown in sacks and the yield suffers a lot if I can’t give them that. I’d rather concentrate on in ground growing. My main crop plants on the other hand are look really healthy. This year I’ve followed advice to cut off the flowers as the appear, to put energy into tuber growth. I don’t really have anything to compare to as I haven’t grown this variety (Picasso) before. Anyone else have to resist to the urge to prod around and see what’s growing underneath?

My courgettes have sprung back into leave after the extreme heat and dry weather followed by the damp and stormy weather. I have about four fruits growing on each of the three plants at the moment. The cucumbers are doing brilliantly. I have three varieties growing, the Wautoma are a huge disappointment, still barely more than a foot long and with only a few flowers. In the meantime I’ve already had several fruit from the Boothby Blonder and Paris Pickling (sadly not enough at once to make a jar of pickles!) My dwarf beans have also recovered and are flowering again after a period of dormancy. I’ve sown more but they are being surprisingly slow to sprout.

Cucumbers ‘Boothby Blonde’ and a perfect yellow courgette

I’ve ordered some netting to protect the brassicas which are soon to go into a cleared patch. Mostly where my peas and early lettuces had bean. The lettuces were fantastic but finally bolted and were too bitter to eat, new salad sowings are going in under the fruit bushes which have finished for the year and will provide a little shade. The peas were a disaster. Delicious though they were, there’s not much you can get from a few pods of peas and the plants stopped growing as soon as the weather got hot! I’m not sure if I did something wrong, or the weather or soil were not great for them. I’d like to try again next year but I’m not sure what to do to achieve a better harvest.

My turnip seeds are sprouting, which is a miracle as we have any number of cats, foxes and squirrels that like to dig up the garden on an almost nightly basis. But I’m hoping the netting will help. Last year the squirrels chewed through it! When I write it all down, I often wonder why I haven’t given up gardening entirely!

In a moment of madness, I’ve put myself down on the waiting list for an allotment. There a couple of sites within a few minutes walk of the house and I’d like to use it to grow the longer cropping things, potatoes, leeks, onions, garlic and so forth, and free up the garden patch for larger quantities of quick cropping or fussier vegetables that need more regular tending. I’ve plenty of room to store crops and harvest in the cellar, but there’s something a bit unsatisfying about sowing small quantities of staple vegetables. Currently we get our vegetable year-round from the local community farm. We eat as seasonally as possible and I cook most meals from scratch every day. We eat a lot of fruit and vegetables so I really am keen to expand my growing space.

Pepper ‘Sweet Chocolate’

The plants in the greenhouse are doing great. The peppers have plenty of flowers and fruit coming, as do the tomatoes, and the aubergines are just starting to flower. The pots the tomatoes are in are just too small, which is placing an additional burden on feeding and watering. Next year I’m going to use the potato sacks to plant them in, two to a bag should be fine and will fit the wire system I put in this year to support them.

‘Queensland Blue’ winter squash. I have two or three fruit set so far on four plants, and am also growing ‘North Georgia Candy Roaster’, ‘Victor’, ‘Waltham Butternut’, ‘New England Pie’, ‘Burgess Buttercup’, ‘Casperita’, ‘Jack be Little’ and ‘Thelma Sanders Sweet Potato’.

1 Comment

  1. Flighty
    July 27, 2023 / 2:47 pm

    Good post and pictures. Sorry to read that you’ve not been well and hope that you’re okay now.
    I’m growing Picasso main crop potatoes but left the flowers on mine. It’ll be interesting to see how the size and yield compare.
    Good for you for putting yourself on the list for an allotment. I hope that you don’t have to wait too long before getting one.
    Take care, and happy gardening. xx