If you are looking to fill some unused space or something did not work out in your garden there are still many flowers and vegetables you can plant this month. Many people don’t think July is a great time to plant but they are wrong. There are many edibles that do well this time of year, or you can get a second harvest on something you already planted. Just make sure you check to see if the vegetable will work in your hardiness zone. This time of year you might also want to brighten up a window box or container by adding some new flowers.
Here are 6 of our favorite flowers and vegetables you can plant in July:
Lantana is a low maintenance flower to grow and is one of our favorites. The pretty little flower clusters come in an array of colors including pink, purple, orange, red, and yellow. The bright colors of these flowers will add a beautiful pop to your garden. What is amazing about these flowers is that you will often see a mix of colors in one flower cluster. This sun-loving plant is drought tolerant and blooms all summer long. Butterflies are attracted to these nectar-loaded blooms. This plant is also deer and rabbit resistant. Lantana is an annual plant in cooler regions of the US. It is a perennial in zones 8-10. You can read more about Lantana in one of our previous blog posts.
Pentas also is known as Egyptian Star flourish in the summer heat. The pretty star-shaped, five-petal flowers come in pink, purple, red, and white. The bright colors of the flowers are a great addition to any garden or container. They are perennial in warmer climates and an annual in hardiness zones colder than zone 10. They attract pollinators and are adored by bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. They are a low maintenance plant to grow. Just plant them in full sun and give them plenty of water. If you deadhead them you will get more blooms. These plants can be brought into the house if you want to try to grow them indoors.
Portulaca also is known as Moss Rose is a tough succulent groundcover. It is also heat and drought tolerant. These flowers will bloom all summer until frost. They are great for containers or rock gardens or try growing them in hanging baskets. The large semi-double flowers come in a variety of colors including orange, red, rose, yellow, and white and pastel shades. The flowers need the sun to open, so in the evening or on a cloudy day you will not have any open blooms. The plant is a hearty grower in many soils including sandy soil. It is an annual in hardiness zones 2 – 9 and a perennial in zones 10-11. Learn more about Portulaca here.
If you want to have your own Pumpkins for Halloween or if you use them to decorate or eat in the fall, now is the time to get started. Pumpkins take a lot of space, so if your space is limited look for compact varieties. The vines will still need about 6 to 8 square feet to grown. At this time of year, it is probably easiest to purchase seeds rather than get them from a Pumpkin you have purchased. Make sure the location you plant your Pumpkins in is full sun to light shade and it is clear of any pests, insects, or weeds. Plant the seeds directly in the soil about 1-inch deep. Since Pumpkins take up a lot of space, plant them five feet apart. In the early part of growth, Pumpkins need a lot of TLC (Tending Loving Care). Look for insects and pests and fertilize with a nitrogen-based fertilizer on a regular basis. They will also need early morning watering in the summer. Try using mulch to keep the plant hydrated.
Swiss Chard is often grown instead of Spinach this time of year because it tolerates warmer temperatures. Swiss Chard is a member of the beet family that grows quickly in both cool and warm temperatures. The plant is known for its bright colorful stems and both the leaves and stems can be eaten. You can plant seeds now for a fall harvest. If you live in a southern part of the country you can plant it in the fall. Plant Swiss Chard in rich, well-drained soil in full sun or light shade. Plant the seeds ½ inch deep in rows spaced 18 inches apart. Once you see the growth has started, thin the seedlings to 12 inches apart. Learn more about Swiss Chard, here.
You might think it is too late for tomatoes but you are wrong. Tomatoes love the warm temperatures. Just make sure you get plants that have shorter days to mature. Look for plants that take 50 to 60 days to mature. This will give you enough time to harvest your Tomatoes before there is any frost in most parts of the US. If possible, plant tomatoes in areas that will receive sun from early morning to early afternoon and be shaded thereafter. The soil should be rich and loaded with lots of organic matter such as compost. You can read our “5 Secrets To Growing Great Tomatoes” here.
Select Photos Courtesy of Jill Mazur