Have you been tossing around the idea of planting a vegetable garden but believe that July is just much too late to start? It’s never too late! Not only is it a fine time to start planting a second sowing of many vegetables and herbs, it is also an excellent time to begin thinking about creating your fall vegetable garden. It is important to mention, however, that where you live needs to be considered, as there are several crops that thrive better in certain regions. It’s also critical to know the average first frost dates in your area, as some plants will tolerate a fair amount of cold, but others will not. You need your vegetables to mature before the frost comes to avoid killing them. Some plants, however, can actually survive in very chilly temperatures, and some experienced gardeners claim that these vegetables have a better quality when grown in low temperatures, and actually makes them taste sweeter. Once you have the frost information for your region, put on your sunscreen, get outside and start digging! You will soon enjoy a succulent crop of fresh veggies and herbs for late summer and into autumn!
Best Vegetables for July Planting:
* Beans — Beans are very easy to grow, and are delicious to eat raw right after picking or cooked as a tasty side dish for late summer barbeques. They take about 45 to 65 days to mature, but will die when exposed to frost.
* Tomatoes — Tomatoes grow best in temperatures between 70 and 80 degrees and don’t care much for frost. But planting tomato crops in July will yield ripe, juicy fruit quickly, as long as your summer weather isn’t constantly scorching hot, and you typically experience late autumn or early winter first frost.
* Lettuce — Takes only 40 to 60 days to mature, will survive a light frost, and you can’t enjoy the perfect summer BLT without it! Its cousin, the cabbage plant, takes a little longer to mature, between 50 and 90 days, but planting in July is safe as this hardy plant can still grow in temps as low as a frigid 20 degrees.
Other vegetables that do great when planted in July are broccoli, carrots, corn, cucumber and kale.
Best herbs for July planting:
* Cilantro — Maturing in about two months to 70 days, this pungent herb can survive a mild frost.
* Oregano — This zesty tasting spice is a favorite addition to Italian dishes, and is quite the hardy herb. Oregano adores strong sunshine, which ensures the strongest flavor.
* Basil — This tasty, versatile spice will mature in approximately a month to two months after planting, but does not tolerate frost. Since Basil continues to grow as you harvest it, consider replanting it in a pot and bring inside after the summer is over and you can enjoy this herb year-round.
Dill, mint, marjoram and chives are examples of additional herbs that thrive when planted in July.
Do you know of other plants and herbs to plant in July? Let us know!