What Vegetables to Plant in July in Southeast QLD & Northern NSW

What Vegetables to Plant in July in Southeast QLD & Northern NSW

Posted by Dean on 26th Jul 2017

July in Southeast Queensland – Nights cool enough to snuggle under a doona for a toasty sleep, days warm, but mild enough to play in the sun without turning into  Zoidberg. Perfect for getting out in the garden!

While the cooler weather cuts down on the amount of veggies that will thrive, our subtropical climate still leaves us with heaps of options! Most veggies on the list below will be prime for planting for the next few months, but I've picked a few to that are perfectly in season right now to tell you about in more detail!

•Beetroot •Jerusalem Artichoke •Peas
•Cabbage (loose headed) •Kale •Snow Peas
•Carrots •Kohlrabi •Radish
•Celeriac •Lettuce •Rocket
•Celery •Malabar Greens •Shallots
•Chicory •Mangle-wurzel •Silverbeet
•Endive •Mizuna •Spinach
•Florence Fennel •Mustard Greens •Spring Onions
•Garlic •Onion
•Huauzontle •Parsip

Endive is a bitter leafed vegetable. I don't know what it has to be bitter about – it's quite rich in folate, vitamins A and K, and is high in fibre!
•If you're growing from seeds, grow your endive seedlings in cell packs, so you can lift the entire cell for transplanting to your soil – endive roots don't like being disturbed!
•Try blanching to improve flavour.
•Harvest around 10 weeks after planting.

Florence Fennel
Not to be confused with  Florence Nightingale or Florence + the Machine, Florence Fennel's bulb-like stem base has a flavour similar to aniseed. So basically this is the black jellybean of veggies – you're either going to love it or hate it. It's sweeter and more aromatic than common fennel (pfft, yea, like we all know what common fennel is...)
•Blanching the stems will reduce bitterness – shade the stems with something like cardboard or trimmed ice cream container, once they have swollen to about the size of a golf ball. Don't try hitting them with a golf club. That's bad.
•Remove any flower stems that appear before you are about to harvest. These will attract snails and slugs, because apparently they like black jellybeans.
•Harvest 10-12 weeks after planting; 4-5 weeks after blanching.

Garlic can be used as a delicious pungent seasoning or condiment, is linked to many health benefits relating to the heart and blood system, and is awesome for ruining first dates!
•Garlic is grown by planting single cloves in the soil, pointy side up, about as deep as the length of the clove itself.
•You can plant cloves from supermarket garlic, however it is strongly advised to purchase bulbs grown specifically to be replanted. This is because garlic grown for consumption is prone to viruses that accumulate and inhibit growth (entirely harmless to humans), where as garlic grown for replanting will be virus free.
•Remove any flowers that form, as these will steal the tasty tasty nutrients from your garlic bulbs!
•Harvest your garlic after roughly 16 weeks. The long shoots with start to turn yellow and brown, wither, and droop towards the soil. This is a sure sign that it's time to dig everything up and have a garlic party!

Kale is cooler than  fidget spinners right now. Walk around in activewear with some kale sticking out of the top of your bag, and wait for the county club invites and sponsorship offers to come flooding in! Apparently it's also really good for you, with Vitamin K and heaps of other nutrients, as well as making for an intense addition to salads. But I dunno, whatever...
•There are heaps of Kale varieties available – seek out disease resistant varieties, and beware of ornamental varieties – they will taste like poop.
•Kale matures in around 50-60 days, but you can pick the leaves as you need them.

Onion is a great backup for ruining first dates if you don't have any garlic handy. Onion is also famous for having  layers, and making you cry (which may actually be able to save a date if you're watching a sad movie and need to look all emotional). And now for an actual fact: Onions are 0.1% fat, which means they can contribute their flavour to dishes without raising the calorie count! Clever little things.
•You will need to be patient when planting onion seeds – they can take up to three weeks to sprout!
•Harvest your onions after around 20 weeks.

If there were an award for the "Top Vegetable that Never Makes it Inside", for me it would definitely be peas. I eat these babies right off the vine like they're going out of style. Now that I think about it, it is pretty cruel to eat them in front of their friends... Peas are high in too many vitamins and minerals for me to list here without you getting bored, and their dry weight is about one quarter  protein, and one quarter sugar, making them an amazing pre or post-exercise snack!
•A certain proportion of pea seeds will fail to germinate. Sow the seeds into wet soil, about 5cm deep, and do not water until germination happens. For this reason you might want to plant your seeds in trays, then transfer the strong seedlings into your garden.
•Harvest your peas after around 10 weeks. The best way to check is to taste them straight off the vine.

Snow Peas
If there were an award for the "Vegetable that has Saved Me the Most Money by Growing It Myself", it would be these bad boys. My home grown snow peas have cut the cost of many a stir fry by, like, 25 per cent. I don't know why they're so expensive, because in the right conditions they grow faster than my discomfort in social situations. Snow peas are quite similar to plain old peas, except on top of all the usual pea goodness, their edible pods are chock-full of fibre! Also, ordinary peas are hopeless in stir-fries and really hard to pick up with chopsticks.
•Sow the same way as peas – into wet soil, about 5cm deep, and do not water until germination happens.
•Harvest time is similar to peas at 10 weeks, and as with any veggie that you can get away with doing so, the best way to test them is to taste them straight off the vine.

Am I the only one who hears "Rocket", and can't stop thinking of  this little guy? Well, while rocket has many uses, unfortunately it can't be credited with saving the galaxy. Twice. Rocket leaves have a bitter peppery taste when they first sprout, then sweet and nutty when they are young, followed by a strong spicy flavour as they mature. Apart from a whole heap of salad options, you can try some really unique recipes using rocket, including rocket pesto, and broccoli and rocket soup! In the middle ages, it was forbidden to grow rocket in monasteries, as it was considered an aphrodisiac. What you do with that information is up to you...
•Keep your rocket well watered to prevent it becoming too bitter.
•Pick your rocket leaves as you need them once the plant has established. Sow every four to six weeks if you want to get a continual harvest going.
p.s. Now I'm wishing I could tell you how to grow a  Groot.

Fun Fact: While spinach is very high in vitamins and minerals, the old belief about it being extremely high in iron is a fallacy, originating from a misplaced decimal point in a study published in the 1930s! Take that  Popeye! Another important thing to know is fresh spinach loses much of its nutritional value when stored for more than a few days. Chucking it in the fridge will make it last up to eight days, but for longer storage it needs to be blanched or cooked, then frozen. I say just grow it at home and pick those tasty tasty fresh leaves as you need them!
•Your spinach plant will flower towards the end of its growing season, to produce new seeds in order to reproduce (known as  bolting). At this stage the flavour of the leaves will have started to deteriorate, so it's pretty much all over. Regrown spinach using collected seeds can be temperamental at best, so it's usually better to purchase new seeds each season.
•Water your spinach well! Growing it quickly will prevent it getting a bitter flavour.
•Harvest after around five to six weeks, or pretty much as soon as the leaves are big enough.