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It’s July, but it’s not too late! Depending on your growing zone, there is still a good chance that you have time to plant certain veggie seeds and get a harvest before the first frost of the season. If you are in zones 5-10, where the first frost of the year is usually somewhere near mid-October, later, or non-existent, then you still have around 100 days for your plants to mature.
Whatever the reason you are still thinking about planting in July, it is well worth it. Maybe your plants got ravished by bugs or critters, perhaps you still have some space in your garden that you want to fill, or you simply didn’t get around to planting in time. Never fear! These seeds can be sown in July, with plenty of time to harvest before the frosts come.
Cucumbers are a summer staple and are even crunchier and tastier when they come from your garden. Most varieties take around 50-70 days to mature, so there is still time to get some seeds in the ground in July.
Thankfully, cucumbers are very easy to grow from seed and can be direct-seeded in your garden beds. Since this time of the year is usually pretty hot, you will have to keep an eye on the soil and not allow it to dry out completely, as your seeds will need moisture to germinate. As soon as the seeds germinate, carefully mulch around them to help keep moisture in the soil.
Your plants will need a good sunny spot and a trellis to grow up. Once fruits are on the vines, make sure that your plants get about one inch of water per week.
2. Green Beans
This is another great seed to be planted in July for a healthy harvest later in the year. Whether you chose to grow bush beans or vining beans, you should have a good harvest in around 50-65 days.
An advantage of growing beans in the heat of July is that you can direct plant your seeds and apply a light mulch to help keep moisture in the soil. Beans are pretty sturdy plants and should be able to find their way through a light mulch. Once your beans can handle it, you can apply a thicker mulch around them.
Plant beans about an inch deep in well-draining soil. Make sure that your vining beans have a good trellis to grow up. Your plants will need a sunny spot and about two inches of water a week. They need water to produce the flowers, and flowers mean beans!
3. Summer Squash
Zucchini, yellow squash, and patty pans all have time to mature and produce fruits if you plant them in July. You can direct sow these seeds about an inch deep in your garden, but make sure that you give them a lot of space. Make soil mounds that are about 48 inches apart. In each mound, you can plant 2-3 seeds about 24 inches apart.
Summer squash plants need a sunny spot with well-draining soil. As soon as you see fruits that are ready to harvest, pick them. In the blink of an eye, summer squash mutates into a giant, woody, fibrous fruit that isn’t much used for anything!
4. Swiss Chard
Swiss chard is a great green to grow late in the season as it matures ready for harvest quickly and is quite heat tolerant. Swiss Chard can be ready for harvest in as little as 40 days and will even survive the first light frosts meaning that you will have greens on into autumn.
Direct sow your seeds about 6 inches apart in rows 18 inches apart. This is also a perfect plant for sneaking into gaps in your veggie patch. It can tolerate some light shade, so worry too much about taller plants looming a little. When the leaves are ready to harvest, you don’t need to harvest the whole plant. Just take what you need and leave the rest of the plant to keep growing. Take leaves from the outside to allow the new growth to flourish in the center.
- Weekly Spotlight: So Many Ways to Use Cucumbers in Summer Dishes
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- 15 Ways to Use Zucchini, Summertime’s Most Versatile Squash
- 4 Speedy Veggies to Grow at Home—From Seed to Plate in 40 Days or Less
- 7 Vegetables that Are Quick and Easy for Kids to Grow
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