In July, you can already be enjoying a bounty of home-grown food. But as well as enjoying the abundance of fresh produce from your polytunnel, it is also important to take some time to continue planting for the year ahead. It is not too late to plant a range of leafy greens and root crops to see you through the colder months to come. Here are some of the vegetables to plant in your polytunnel in July:
Leafy Green Vegetables To Plant in July For Overwintering:
There are a wide range of brassicas and other leafy green crops to sow this month. You will not be eating these crops over the next few months but rather allowing them to put on a decent amount of growth over the summer season before the weather cools and they enter their slow-growth or dormancy phase. You will then have plenty of leafy greens to eat in the winter, when less fresh food is generally available. The ability to have fresh greens all year long is one of the main benefits of polytunnel growing.
Leafy green crops to sow in July for overwintering include:
- Cabbages/ Kale
Root Vegetables To Plant in July for Overwintering:
Root vegetables that you can still sow in July for crops that will feed you over the winter months include:
Polytunnel gardeners should think outside the box and choose root vegetables that are a little different to the varieties that can be found in supermarkets. Choosing a range of heritage seed varieties will allow you to grow, for example, carrots in a range of different hues, from white to yellow to purple, and beetroots with solid colour or red rings. Maintain excellent diversity and variety in your polytunnel garden by selecting different root crops to sow this month.
Swift Vegetable Crops for Summer Planting:
In addition to planning ahead for the winter months to come, July is also a time to continue successional sowing of a variety of swift-growing plants to feed you over the next few months. In July, polytunnel gardeners can continue to sow the following plants little and often, to ensure they continue to produce a steady supply:
- Lettuce and other salad leaves
- Asian greens such as pak choi, mizuna & mibuna
- Spring onions
Summer may almost be half way through but with a polytunnel, your gardening year is still far from over. Check out our grow guides for more information about how and when to sow different crops, and feel free to let us know how your polytunnel garden is coming along this month in the comments below.
Elizabeth Waddington is a writer and green living consultant living in Scotland. Permaculture and sustainability are at the heart of everything she does, from designing gardens and farms around the world, to inspiring and facilitating positive change for small companies and individuals.
She also works on her own property, where she grows fruit and vegetables, keeps chickens and is working on the eco-renovation of an old stone barn.