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The Late Late Sow

Complete Herb Garden

Complete Herb Garden


Midsummer’s day came and went, much like England’s world cup dreams. For me the sadness of shortening days is tempered by the joy of much less chat about football. Now we’re in high summer; it’s all about the long drowsy days of Wimbledon (much more civilised) and – even better – most of the season’s hard work is done on the allotment. There’s lots to pick – everything’s growing apace – from chard and lettuce, the first courgettes, bundles and bundles of herbs and raspberries galore. I adore this time of year.

However, it’s no time to be complacent. One of the secrets to good vegetable gardening (and, it has to be said, gardening in general) is to always think a couple of months ahead. As I harvest and clear the broad beans and garlic, my thoughts turn to late summer and autumn crops. Many of these are things that live fast and die young (get eaten after only a few months).

So, I’m off to sow dwarf French beans, fennel, beetroot, more basil, carrots, lettuces, chicories and courgettes. With the warmth and long days they’ll romp away and give the plot a boost of freshness in August and September, when many of the early sown crops will have been eaten or stopped producing.


Paris Market Carrots (Seed)

Paris Market Carrots

Beetroot 92038-01-BAKI

Beetroot in 3 Varieties

Dwarf French Bean Contender 10473-00-BAKI

Dwarf French Bean Contender


At this time of the year I like to sow in the evening, because it means the seeds have the cool overnight period to absorb water from the surrounding soil and get growing. There’s no scientific evidence (that I’m aware of) to back this up, but it’s a gut feeling and it seems to work. And what a lovely way to spend a warm summer’s night, gently sowing and watering in as the sun sinks below the horizon.



  1. November 18, 2014  10:47 pm by Chuck Burr Reply

    Hello David,

    Restoration Seeds is an open pollinated seed company supporting family farmers. I am looking for additional photography for our store for Contender beans. You have a nice photo below and I wanted to ask permission to use it with attribution credit back to you. Thanks in advance, let us know either way.

    Did you take that photo. We would need a larger size 1-2 MB, beautiful.


    Chuck Burr
    Restoration Seeds
    1133 Old Highway 99 South
    Ashland, OR 97520
    United States

    541 201-2688

    • November 19, 2014  8:06 am by David Reply

      Hi Chuck

      Which photo are you referring to? It's not clear.



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