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Sunday, 21 July 2013

What to Grow in Summer

Although the weather has been very warm and lots of us are busy watering the garden and allotment there is still a number of great seeds to get sowing in the summer months for harvesting later in the year. To help you plan what to do here is a guide as to what can be sown between now and early September to give you plenty of additional fresh produce between now and throughout the autumn, winter and right the way thrugh into next spring.

Most can be sown into the ground but some are less hardy and should be grown in pots so you can move them into the greenhouse later in the year to protect from frost.

Calabrese
Calabrese can be sown outside until the end of July to provide you with a late autumn crop, alternatively you can sow in a heated greenhouse during August or September which will provide you with a harvest in early spring. Success can vary depending upon the weather for the rest of the year, however it is worth trying.

Carrots

Sow from now until September every ten days for a constant supply. Young carrots can be picked within just four weeks. Crops that are sown after May should avoid the first carrot fly problems however in areas where it is a problem, cover the crop with horticultural fleece.

See our guide from earlier this year.


Chard
Chard can be sown up until the middle of August outside or undercover until early September. The young leaves are ready to be harvested after just three weeks.

Chicory
Can be sown until the end July or sometimes in early August. Chicory is a multi-use plant which is not commonly grown by the amateur gardener. However, it is reasonably easy to grow and provides a crop of leaves from early summer to mid-autumn. If the roots are lifted and stored in the dark then chicons are produced which will provide a delicacy in the winter months.The non-forcing varieties are easier to grow but the forcing varieties are better flavoured. Chicory is not suitable for close spacing or pot growing.




Coriander
Sow up until the end of August with repeated sowings every ten days for a constant supply of fresh coriander. You can harvest the leaves after 2 weeks or so or you can let them develop for seeds.

French beans
Sow French beans in July for a late crop of dwarf beans. In mild areas you may be able to start picking by the mid to end of September. Grow in pots so that they can moved under cover if the weather turns cold.

Kale
Sow Kale under cover in autumn for baby leaves after six weeks, or outside for an over-wintering crop.

Oriental greens
Sow Oriental greens outside until the end August. Pick young leaves at 2 weeks or more for salads, or leave the plants to become bigger for cooking. Home grown greens will give far superior flavour to anything you can buy in the shops - and they're cheap and easy to grow. You can buy seed mixes at garden centres or try
Pak Choi, Chinese Kale, Tatsoi Tah Tsai, Kaillan White, Choy Sum and Yukina Savoy.

Pak Choi 

This leafy green Chinese vegetable belongs to the cabbage family (though tastes nothing like cabbage!). It has long green, slightly ribbed leaf stalks and soft oval green leaves. The leaves and stems are best suited to brief stir-frying or steaming to retain their mild flavour. Occasionally you may be able to find baby pak choi which can be cooked whole. It is a fast growing crop and can be used in salads, stirfries or can be steamed. Pak Choi doesn’t require a lot of water as 


Peas
Peas can be sown until the end of July, but probably no later than mid-August. Sow a quick growing, 'early' variety.

Potatoes
If you have had problems with blight this summer, then try them again now in containers and you'll have fresh potatoes over the winter period. Tubers planted as late as September will give you a good crop in time for Xmas.





Radish
Winter radishes are not much grown in the UK but are popular in other countries for stir frying, salads and pickling.

Salad leaves
Salad leaves are quick and easy to grow and if you have a greenhouse, you can keep some going all year. If the soil temperature is above 25C the seeds won't want to germinate and it is better to sow in the evening into well watered soil and keep them shaded with a light horticultural fleece for a couple of days.

This post was brought to you in association with Mole Valley Farmers who supply a wide variety of quality tools and equipment for use in both the garden as well as at home.

Enjoy whatever you decide to grow!

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