If you’re feeling bad that the racks of vegetable starts have disappeared from the garden centers and you still don’t have anything planted, don’t despair. Shake off the shame and grab some seed packets and potting soil. There’s still time in July for you to get your hands dirty and enjoy all the positive health benefits of growing and eating fresh veggies.
“Many vegetables grow better in the cooler temperatures of fall and with a little work in July, you can help them succeed,” says Megan Smith, garden intern at the Orem Community Hospital LiVe Well Garden. She suggests getting familiar with the first frost dates in your area when deciding on variety and timing. “You will want to give your plants time to grow and give fruit before it starts snowing . Reading the seed packets will help you decide when to have the seedlings ready to plant outdoors.”
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Leafy vegetables, like lettuces, don’t love the summer heat, but grow really well indoors. They have the added benefits of being easy to start and giving a quick return on your efforts. And these microgreens can really up the flavor in your summer salad! The seed packet will help you know when to transplant outdoors for full fall growth. Some greens, like kale, are hearty and have been reported to be sweeter after exposure to the first frost.
What to Plant in July
According to the Utah State University Extension office, here are some vegetables that you can start in July for later transplanting:
- Brussel sprouts
And these root vegetables can go directly outside, saving you the extra work of starting seedlings:
Your mid-summer garden guilt can easily be cured this weekend and you’ll enjoy your efforts well into the next season.