Summer is a time of vibrant colours, bustling life in the garden, and warm, sunny days. For many gardeners, the period from July to September represents a crucial window for planting, maintaining, and harvesting a variety of plants. Whether you’re an experienced gardener or just starting, this guide will help you make the most of your garden during the high summer months.

Understanding the Season

The mid to late summer period is characterised by long days and, in many regions, the peak of the warmest temperatures of the year. This season can be challenging for plants and gardeners alike due to potential issues like drought, heat stress, and pests. However, with proper planning and care, it can also be a highly productive and rewarding time in the garden.

Vegetables to Plant

1. Quick-Growing Salads

Lettuce, radishes, and spinach can be sown directly into the soil or in containers for a quick crop. These leafy greens prefer cooler conditions, so consider positioning them in part-shade to protect them from the harshest midday sun.

2. Root Vegetables

Beetroot and carrots can still be sown in early July to ensure a late summer or early autumn harvest. These crops need a sunny spot and well-drained soil.

3. Green Beans

Fast-maturing varieties of green beans can be sown in July for a late summer harvest. They need a sunny position and plenty of water to thrive.

Flowers to Plant

1. Sunflowers

While traditionally planted earlier, sunflowers can still be sown in early July for a late summer bloom. They are perfect for adding height and colour to the garden.

2. Nasturtiums

These easy-to-grow flowers can be sown directly where they are to flower, making them perfect for filling gaps in borders or adding colour to vegetable patches.

3. Autumn Crocuses

For those looking ahead, planting autumn crocuses in July will ensure a beautiful display come September.

Herbs to Cultivate

1. Basil

This quintessential summer herb can be sown throughout the season. It thrives in warm, sunny spots and can easily be grown in pots on a sunny windowsill.

2. Coriander

Sow coriander in light shade to prevent it from bolting. Regular sowing every few weeks will ensure a continuous supply.

3. Parsley

Parsley can take a while to germinate but sowing now can still provide a useful crop later in the season.

Maintenance Tips

  • Watering: This is crucial during the summer months. Water plants either early in the morning or late in the evening to minimise evaporation.
  • Mulching: Applying a layer of mulch around plants can help retain moisture, suppress weeds, and keep root systems cool.
  • Pest Control: Keep an eye out for pests and diseases. Early intervention is key to preventing major outbreaks.


Many of the crops sown in spring or early summer will be ready to harvest during this period. Regularly picking vegetables like beans and courgettes will encourage further production. Enjoy the fruits of your labour and consider preserving excess produce through freezing, drying, or canning.

Planning Ahead

While enjoying the current season’s garden, it’s also a good time to start planning for autumn and beyond. Consider ordering spring-flowering bulbs to plant in the autumn and begin preparing beds for overwintering vegetables.

In conclusion, the period from July to September is not just a time for maintenance and harvest; it’s also an opportunity to plant and prepare for the coming seasons. By following this guide, you can ensure your garden is vibrant, productive, and beautiful throughout the end of summer and into autumn. Happy gardening!