There is still time to sow and plant vegetables in July and see them harvested either before the end of the summer holidays or by late autumn. The good thing about growing this time of year is that you can sow directly into outside pots or the ground. No need to worry about sowing indoors and then transplanting. Consider if you are to be away from home for any amount of time. With the root vegetables, once established can probably get away with no watering for a week or two.
These are one of the easiest vegetables to grow with kids, reliable and fast. Our little bunch above were planted at the end of half term, in early June and have gone from plot to plate in less than five weeks. That’s fast growing. You can also sow a purple variety with a milder flavour which is perhaps more suited to younger children.
We have grown these for the first time this year and already have harvested some after about 10 weeks. Boltardy is a good one to grow.
Salad leaves can be sown successionally throughout the summer. Sprinkle seeds today and you can be harvesting in 4/5 weeks. Grow some cut and come again varieties and you will get at least three helpings from them.
Carrots are ideal for successional sowing and many gardeners will be making sowings throughout the summer. Sow direct into the ground and then thin when the leaves start to grow. By sowing this time of year you should avoid carrot fly. Don’t forget carrots come in all colours – not just orange. Carrots sown in early July will be ready for harvest September/October.
It is actually best to sow Pad Choi after mid-summer, as earlier sowings are prone to bolting, which means they run to seed. With a little bit of protection you can harvest Pad Choi until late autumn. I have been surprised how easy it is to grow this vegetable.
French beans are another speedy vegetable. They can easily germinate within a week. So your children will start to see some results really quickly.
Fill each pot with the sowing compost and press down ensure you leave at least 1/2 an inch space from the top of the pot. This makes watering easier. Push in one bean per pot by about 4 cms making sure that it is covered with soil. Water in the beans and water regularly in the next couple of weeks. Replant into the ground when they are a couple of inches high. For more detailed information please see our Growing Beans with kids pages.
In my view you can never have too much parsley. You can sow from seed throughout the summer. It will taste so much better than the cut herbs you buy from the supermarket. If you don’t have a vegetable patch it grows well in containers or you could grow it in your flower border.