What's in season: July

Broad beans

Summer is fully underway and allotments and growing spaces are brimming with salad leaves, vegetables and berries.

Our gardeners and chefs are sharing their tips and favourite recipes to help you make the most of the season.

At this time of year, many gardeners and growers take advantage of the long days to look after veg beds and flower borders. In warm weather, it's  best to water your garden either at the beginning or the end of the day.

It's also a good idea to hoe and pull out weeds to prevent them from setting seed and look out for signs of pests and diseases in allotments and greenhouses. 

You can even start thinking about your autumn harvest. Succession crops of peas, dwarf beans and carrots can all be sown now. 

If you don't have a garden or allotment, you can still enjoy the best of the summer by treating yourself to fresh produce from local markets and shops. 

Vegetables to harvest or buy

  • Beetroot
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Courgettes and summer squash
  • Cucumbers
  • Fennel
  • French beans
  • Lettuce and other salad leaves
  • New potatoes
  • Peas and mangetout
  • Radish
  • Runner beans
  • Tomatoes
  • Spinach
  • Spring onions
  • Shallots

Fruit to harvest or buy

  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Cherries
  • Currants
  • Gooseberries
  • Loganberries
  • Raspberries
  • Tayberries

This month we're talking about new potatoes

New potatoes from Jersey or further afield appear on supermarket shelves very early in the year, but most British new potatoes, especially those grown at home, only come into their own now. Planted in March or April, new potatoes do best if they receive plenty of rain during May and June while their tubers are swelling.

New potatoes are usually ready to harvest when they begin to flower, athough it’s worth using a fork to gently investigate whether decent sized tubers have developed on one plant before lifting the whole crop. Unearthing a mass of perfectly-formed potatoes from the ground is one of life’s greatest pleasures and something children never fail to find astonishing.

New potatoes need to be really waxy for the best potato salads. Great waxy varieties include ‘Accent’, ‘Annabelle’ and ‘Charlotte’. For home gardeners, early varieties like these are well worth growing as they taste delicious when very fresh and can be harvested before potato blight starts to be a problem in late summer.

Harvesting in the garden

Croome wisteria in the walled gardens

Summer gardening tips: from our garden to yours 

Want to get more out of your summer blooms? Our gardening experts are sharing their tips on how to garden during the warmest season. This month we've got lots of advice on roses and composting.

July recipes