Seeds to Sow for Late Summer Eating
When you’re growing your own, planning is everything! While many of us have already got those early veggies on the go, we’re also thinking ahead to what we want to see on our plates come late summer. May/June is a great time to start sowing ready for a bumper vegetable crop as autumn draws in. If you’re stuck for ideas, here are a few varieties to sow for late summer eating.
Sowing: Get them into warm soil between May and July and you’ll have plenty of beetroot to enjoy well past summer. They also store really well, so you’ve got a few extra months on top of your growing season in which to enjoy them.
Harvesting: Beetroot can go a quite woody if you leave them to get too big. Harvest them somewhere between tennis ball and cricket ball size and they should be tasty and tender.
Sowing: The classic kitchen staple, maincrop carrots that go in now will be just right in time for late summer/autumn harvesting. Like beetroot, they also store well – perfect for those hearty winter stews ahead.
Harvesting: Standard carrot varieties are ready to harvest when the shoulders are around ½ to ¾ inch wide, although it will depend on the variety you’re growing. Aim for picking at around 14 – 16 weeks and they should be about right.
Sowing: If you like a ‘squeaky bean’ or two for dinner, successional sowing from May through to July will easily see you through summer and into autumn. If you’re sowing outdoors just be sure that the soil is warm enough and the last frosts have passed.
Harvesting: Continuous cropping is helped by regular picking. Pick the beans before they reach the 6-inch mark, and they should be at their optimal for taste and texture.
Sowing: Runner beans have a similar sowing window to their French cousins and should crop well into the late summer if you sow towards the end of June. Anyone who has ever grown runner beans knows how prolific they can be, so prepare your freezer and your neighbours.
Harvesting: Again, it’s best to pick them regularly for a higher yield. You also don’t want them to get much past the 7-inch mark or they can become tough and stringy…and no one likes a stringy bean.
Sowing: Planting a new row every couple of weeks until around late July should ensure you have fresh salad leaves well past the summer months. Successional planting will also help you avoid having to bulk eat and/or palm off a sudden glut of lettuce. We love lettuce, but there are limits…
Harvesting: You can harvest leaf lettuce by snipping off individual outer leaves as the plant continues to grow, or pick a whole head lettuce once the heart has developed.
Sowing: Sown in late May/early June, courgettes are the gift that will keep on giving into autumn. Be warned – they can produce a high yield, so unless you want to get incredibly creative with courgettes in the kitchen (and eat them with every meal), don’t plant too many. They always say with courgettes plant two and hope one dies!
Harvesting: Pick them young and often and you won’t go far wrong. Around the 6-inch mark is a good size guide.
Sowing: much like lettuce, successional planting until early August should satisfy those radish cravings past the warmer months. Put in short rows, thin to 1 inch apart and water well. They will be on your plate come mid and late summer eating,.
Harvesting: Like beetroot, they can get woody if left in the ground too long, so pick them earlier rather than later. Radishes that are around 1 inch in diameter should be about right, but it will depend on the variety you’ve chosen.
Planning your vegetable garden
The trick to growing your own is staying one step ahead. Planning your planting and keeping track of when you sow each vegetable should ensure your garden produces a steady and varied supply of veggies throughout the year. We can help through the use of our grow diary inbuilt to the Harvst App. Get sowing in the next month or so and you’ll have plenty of late summer treats to look forward to!