For many Colorado gardeners, the summer garden is finally in full bloom, the first harvests have started, the pest problems are ramping up, the heat is on, and you may be thinking “I can’t wait till it’s over.”
I get it, it’s hot, it’s sticky, and every day you find a new pest or disease trying to devise a new way to ruin your hard work. But, if you, like me are attempting to live more sustainably then persevere you must. Particularly this year, with rising food costs and looming food shortages it has never been more important to maximize the yields from your home garden.
Since this is our first year on the homestead, and my first garden, I looked at this year as a test to see what would or could be grown and what issues we might face. For the most part, we’ve had very few issues, but what we’ve learned is that the upper beds are irresistible to squirrels and the lower beds are susceptible to mole damage.
So, when the season ends the lower beds will be removed and rebuilt with caging underneath to deter the moles and we’ll create covers for the upper beds to keep the squirrels at bay. But, the knowledge of a redesign left me waring between pulling plants as soon as we harvest to start on the teardown/rebuild process or planting a second round of crops. In the end, I’ve decided to plant for a second harvest so today I’ll be walking you through what plants you can start in July in Colorado (Zone 5b) and get a second harvest in the Fall, before the first frost.
What to Plant in July, Zone B5
Basil - Approx 30 days to harvest
Beets - Approx 50 days to harvest
Bush beans - Approx 60 days to harvest
Carrots - Approx 70 days to harvest
Chard - Approx 50 days to harvest
Cucumbers - Approx 60 days to harvest
Kale - Approx 90 days to harvest
Kohlrabi - Approx 55 days to harvest
Leaf Lettuce - Approx 30 days to harvest
Radish - Approx 30 days to harvest
Spinach - Approx 45 days to harvest
Turnips - Approx 50 days to harvest
A Note About Frost
You may be looking at the maturity times and thinking that some of these will get awfully close to the first frost, especially if there is an early one. But the root crops such as beets, carrots, kohlrabi, radish, and turnips are very cold hardy and will survive a light frost down to 25 degrees. The greens such as lettuce, spinach, and kale will survive frost down to around 20 degrees.
Get to Sowing!
In this time of empty store shelves, and anxiety about the food supply chain, few things are more important than to just keep planting this year. With July planting the important thing to remember is that hot weather can be hard on seedlings. They’ll need extra attention, and possibly extra watering to withstand the rising temps.
So, what will you be planting in these last few weeks of July? Tell us all about it in the comments below and until next time,