Pacific Northwest Gardening: What to Plant in July

Missing late winter and spring planting does not mean you cannot plant in the summer. Many gardeners operate with succession planting in mind, preparing to have a supply of fresh herbs and vegetables throughout the planting seasons, which means planting in July as well. You should be able to harvest much of your plants in August and September and not miss out on what July planting has to offer. Much of the vegetables planted in the spring can be planted again for another harvest, while some herbs do better outside the hottest months of the year. 

Below are some simple ways to enjoy these vegetable and herbs, and details on how they fair in end of summer weather. 

Salad Possibilities. 

Arugula. 

It has a fresh and peppery taste perfect for combining with olive oil, lemon and parmesan cheese. Arugula can grow in partial shade and has less need for sunlight. Its small roots also make it easy to grow in a pot. 

Broccoli. 

A common broccoli salad is made with mayonnaise, lemon and apple cider vinegar dressing topped with bacon, red onion and sunflower seeds. This plant is much easier to grow from seed in the fall because although it prefers full sun rather than shade, the summer heat can be a bit too much. The benefit to growing your own is that you get the most out of the antioxidants which start to leave the plant from the moment it’s been harvested.  

Brussels Sprouts. 

Many people shy away from this plant due to its bitterness, similar to arugula, however, most brussels sprouts salad recipes have lemon juice and apple cider vinegar to cut the bitter taste down. Brussels sprouts enjoy plenty of water and full sun. 

Kale. 

A meaty greenery, kale should be enjoyed with a dressing containing apple cider vinegar in it to break down the tough leaves. Kale grows fast and thrives in the shade. Mulching helps lock in moisture so it will grow even in a little heat. 

Lettuce. 

One of the simplest of plants easily paired with tomato and cucumber grows fast in full sun but is not picky about living in some shade as well. Lettuce needs consistent watering due to its shallow roots.   

Spinach. 

A mild and incredibly healthy green plant, spinach can be made with raspberry vinaigrette, strawberries, almonds and feta cheese. Similar to Lettuce, spinach needs water on a regular basis, once a day at least. 

Other Veggies. 

Carrots. 

Roasting carrots with dill is an easy way to get this vegetable on your dinner table. Plant your carrots where you want them to grow because they do not like transplanting. They are a cool weather plant, so they prefer the spring or fall. 

Radish. 

If you have never pickled radishes maybe this is your sign. Pickled radishes are perfect for salads and tacos alike. Plus, radishes require minimal planting effort on your end. They love sunlight and grow quickly. 

Peas. 

Sugar snap peas are one of the tastiest peas to eat on their own without any cooking. Similar to tomatoes, peas need something to climb on like a cage situated in a large deep pot. Peas are delicate and need to grow out from the soil. 

Herbs. 

Cilantro. 

Although some people taste soap, some taste fresh citrus. It can be used as a spice in soups or on tacos and salads. Cilantro requires lots of water and sunlight, growing fast when in the right conditions. 

Dill. 

Cooking with dill is common and adds a distinctive citrus and grassy flavor to many dishes. Dill may need a supporting stake as it grows but is an easy growing plant overall, not needing anything special outside of water. 

Parsley. 

This herb is rich in antioxidants and vitamins A, K and C. It can be dried and used for up to a year afterward. Parsley needs well-draining soil, light mulch to retain moisture and full sun. 

Plan to dry some herbs or pickle some veggies to preserve your garden until the next planting season. For now, enjoy the planting process and prepare to reap the benefits come harvest. 

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