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Vegetables and Herbs: Planting and Sowing in Summer

Planting and sewing in summer

With the summer solstice officially behind us, seasonal planting for the warm months ahead has begun in earnest. We've got the perfect list of vegetables and herbs to plant and seeds to sow right now, to ensure a feast of freshness from your edible garden.

Be sure to keep an eye on our New Arrivals collection for the latest offerings from UCS Fresh Garden.


 vegetable and herb plants

Courgette Green Bush is a bush variety, which means that the plants are large, robust and vigorous but stay compact without sprawling. The fruit is uniform and straight, with a rich dark green colouring and a fine flavour that's delicate and sweet enough to eat raw, straight off the plant. 

Our Cucumber 'Burpless’ Tasty Green plants are sure to raise a giggle or two with a name like that, but they’re actually great for gardeners who have digestive problems with ordinary cucumbers. This hybrid cucumber is prolific and delicious, sweet and crunchy – with excellent texture and fabulous taste – and, as the name suggests, they’re easy to digest. 

Kitchen Bay is a well-known, culinary, semi-hardy evergreen shrub. An invaluable plant in the kitchen. The leaves can be added to numerous dishes and are among the main ingredients of bouquet garni. Bay is not fussy over soil types, will tolerate extensive pruning, and can be trained into a variety of shapes.

Land Cress is a splendid substitute for watercress. It tastes the same yet can be grown very easily in any spare corner of your garden.

Mizuna is a Japanese leafy vegetable that grows as a large rosette of feathery leaves. These have a peppery, cabbage flavour, and can be used raw in salads or cooked in stir-fries. The young flowering stems can be cooked like broccoli. Use the leaves in salads or as a side dish when lightly cooked and seasoned.

Onions Ailsa Craig is a well-known old variety, favoured by show exhibitors for its large, round shape and straw-coloured skin. This onion has a lovely mild flavour.

Red Chicory Treviso is a fun little plant to grow, adding a deep red colour to your plot. Harvest the whole head or just use the outer leaves. Once fully grown you can usually leave it in the ground until you’re ready to harvest. The leaves can be used in salads or cooked by blanching or braising.

A wonderful addition to a warm and sunny patio or herb garden, the foliage of Sage Blackcurrant will release a strong pineapple-like scent each time it is brushed past or gently touched. Not only do the leaves smell great, but they are also edible, and they can be used to jazz up summer drinks or salads - and in late summer, you have the added bonus of showy clusters of bright scarlet flowers to enjoy!

Tomato Peardrops is a yellow fruited trailing variety with highly attractive pear-shaped fruit and a delicious flavour. Peardrops is a traditional green-shouldered variety that has a good balance of sweetness and acidity.

Tomato Tumbling Tom Red  gives amazing hanging basket performance with stems cascading around the entire container. It is an early, prolific producer of sweet, delicious cherry tomatoes, each measuring two to three centimetres in diameter that are ideal for salads, or straight onto the barbecue. This can be planted in containers as well as hanging baskets.


Pepper plants

If you love the flavour of Tabasco Sauce, then the Chilli Pepper Big Devil variety is the one for you! Very high yielding, these plants produce healthy crops of bright green and red fruits through summer. Perfect for container growing and not too vigorous.

Bred in the UK, the compact, dark-leaved Chilli Pepper Chenzo has an elegant, arching habit and masses of Black Chillies which hang vertically under the branches. It's ideal in hanging baskets, as a patio plant, as well as in a greenhouse, vegetable garden, mixed container or on a windowsill. The small fruit (five to six centimetres) turns from green when very small, to jet black, before ripening fully to a bright red. At any point through the fruiting season, there are the three different-coloured chillies on the plants.

Pepper Sweet Jericho is a big cropping sweet pepper with thick-walled fruits which are 15-18 centimetres long. They ripen from green to red and are great fresh or for stuffing.

Sweet Pepper Redskin is a miniature pepper plant with nearly full-sized fruit! ‘Redskin’ produces exceptional yields of glossy green Peppers, becoming bright red at full maturity. These neat, dwarf-sized plants are a wonderful choice for window sills, patios or container gardening. Their mildly sweet flavour combines easily with many dishes and is also an excellent source of vitamin A.

View a full range of our vegetable plants and herbs 


vegetable seeds

There are plenty of beans that can be sown now that will crop well this year. 

Dwarf French Bean Purple Queen is a superb, stringless variety producing heavy crops of delicious beans in deep purple pods which turn green when cooked. The pods are also good for freezing. The upright plants have delicate purple flowers. Sow in June, for an August harvest.

A popular variety, Runner Bean White Emergo produces heavy crops of delicious butter beans in long, smooth pods. The plant, with attractive white flowers, also makes a great addition to any garden. This is a stringless variety. Sow in May, June and July, for a harvest the next July. 

Runner Bean Painted Lady is an easy-to-grow variety, great to encourage children to grow their very own runner beans. This is a quick-growing early variety, producing short beans of excellent flavour. The plants look great in the garden with their ornamental red and white flowers. Sow in May, June and July, for a harvest from the next July onwards.

Beetroot Detroit is a popular, easy-to-grow variety. Great fresh or pickled and ideal for freezing. Sow until the end of July for harvesting a year later. Beetroot Boltardy has a great flavour and a good resistance to 'bolting'. Also ideal for freezing. Sow from as early as March, and into July, for a June harvest.

Broccoli Autumn Calabrese is a quick-growing variety, producing mild flavoured large green heads. Ideal for freezing. Sow in June and July for an August-September harvest. 

Cabbage Greyhound is a popular variety for early crops, producing pointed heads with a wonderful flavour. Sow from as early as March, into July, for a harvest from the next June onwards.

Carrot Chantenay Red Cored 2 is an early maincrop variety. It produces large, stump-rooted carrots with an exceptionally sweet flavour. Delicious eaten raw, boiled or steamed. Sow from as early as March, into June, for a harvest from the next June to October. By contrast, 

Carrot Autumn King 2 is a late maincrop variety. A popular choice, it produces large pointed carrots of excellent flavour and colour. Sow from as early as March, into August, for a harvest from the next June-October.

Cucumber Marketer is a well-loved variety producing heavy yields of smooth, dark green fruits. Perfect for salads. Sow in May and June, for harvesting between August and October. 

Pumpkin Jack O'Lantern is another easy-to-grow variety great for kids to plant. They could grow their very own large, deep orange pumpkin in time for Halloween. And the tasty flesh is nutritious. Sow in May and June, for an October harvest.

Common Cress and Curled Cress are very quick and easy to grow, and are also loved by children. They're great used as a garnish, or in salads and sandwiches. Sow from June to August and harvest when five centimetres tall.

Lettuce dominates the vegetable seeds to sow from March to July, for harvesting the next June to October. One of the most popular varieties producing compact crunchy lettuces with an excellent flavour is Little Gem Lettuce. Perfect in salads. Lettuce French Salad Leaves Mixed is a wonderful blend of salad leaves which will add texture, colour and flavour to your salad bowl. And Lettuce Cos Paris White is a classic romaine lettuce with large, tender, crisp heads and narrow light green leaves that grow upwards. Often used in Caesar salads.

In good growing conditions, radish matures 28 to 30 days after sowing. Don’t forget you can freeze, ferment, pickle or dehydrate radish for later use. Or better still eat them now, fresh in salads or with burgers. Radish Round Varieties Mixed yields a selection of radish, producing crisp, crunchy, mild and sweet roots, which will brighten up your salad bowl. Radish French Breakfast is an oval-shaped variety with a wonderful delicate flavour.

White Stemmed Pak Choi, also known as Chinese Cabbage, is an easy-to-grow vegetable, producing white juicy, highly nutritious stems. Use young in salads or matured in stir-fries. Sow from as early as March, and into July, for a harvest in April to October. 

Spinach Beet Perpetual is a great substitute for spinach – with smooth, tender dark green leaves and a robust flavour. Sown between April and July, this variety has a long harvest period from late summer to early winter.

The most popular variety of Swedes is the Swede Best Of All. It's easy to grow and medium-sized with a purple top and yellow flesh, and a mild sweet flavour. Perfect for cooking. Sow between May and July for a harvest from October onwards.

Turnip Purple Top White Globe is a very popular sweet-tasting turnip, producing an off-white root with a dark purple top. The leaves can also be used as greens. Sow between March and July for a harvest from June onwards. 

For our full range of seeds, visit

And there you have it! A myriad of options for edible planting this July, ensuring a great crop of your own vegetables and herbs. Share your harvests, big or small, with us via social media using #MyUCSgarden – we love to hear from you!

Facebook: @UCSFRESH 

Instagram: @ucs_fresh_garden

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