30+ Easy Plants To Succession Plant In July In Canada
I refuse to believe the gardening season is ever over. Because when you live in a cold region with a short growing season, you have to make the most of it. That’s where succession planting comes into play! Here’s 30+ seeds you can still plant in the garden in July in Canada.
This post is all about maximizing how much food you can grow in your own backyard. Though it does require some planning and a well executed strategy, succession planting can offer an abundant harvest all Summer long.
For more advice on timing out when to plant in the garden, check out my other monthly seed starting blogs for May, April, March, February & January.
This post covers:
- What Is Succession Planting
- The 3 Types Of Succession Plantings
- Succession Planting Schedule For Zone 2-4
- 20 Vegetable Seeds To Succession Plant In July
- 5 Flower Seeds To Succession Plant In July
- 10 Herb Seeds To Succession Plant In July
What Is Succession Planting
The simplest definition of succession planting is the practice of continuously seeding/starting new plants throughout the entire gardening season. This could be done every few weeks or every few days, depending on how much food/flowers you’re looking to grow.
The objective of succession planting is to maximize your yield and extend your growing season.
Minnesota-based gardener & author, Meg Cowden from @seedtofork has mastered this practice and shares in her succession planting book, Plant Grow Harvest Repeat that “the ultimate garden goal is for all your beds to actively grow and produce for as long as possible throughout the year.”
In my opinion, this quote sums up succession planting perfectly!
So if you’re a Northern gardener, like myself or just looking to grow as much food from your garden as possible, succession planting is for you.
The 3 Types Of Succession Plantings
I like to break down succession plantings into 3 categories.
- Quick Successions
- Mid Season Successions
- Long Season Successions
What Are Quick Succession Plantings
Quick succession plantings are crops that mature within 6-8 weeks or less. This timeframe starts at the time you plant your seed and ends on the date you harvest.
Examples of quick succession crops include:
- Salad greens
Quick succession plantings can be sow’d at really any point throughout the growing season since they have a quick turnaround. They are also great crops for planting during the shoulder seasons (Spring & Fall).
What Are Mid Season Succession Plantings
Mid season succession plantings are crops that require 60-90 days of growing time from planting until harvest. They are slower to establish and should be planted throughout the first half of your growing season.
Examples of mid season succession crops include:
- Summer squash
What Are Long Season Succession Plantings
And finally, long season succession plantings are crops that take 100+ days to mature. They require the better part of the season to grow, however can still be succession planted if you plan strategically.
Examples of mid season succession crops include:
- Winter squash
Succession Planting Schedule For Zone 2-4
Let me start by saying, you can create any type of succession planting schedule that works for your lifestyle. This is simply an example.
Here’s what my succession planting schedule takes into consideration:
- Effort Required: Let’s be realistic, we’re all busy. So this schedule includes only a few tasks per week. You could always plant more.
- Timing: Timing is everything when it comes to succession planting. This schedule reflects Zone 2-4 gardens. For example, planting brassica seedlings at the end of July provides them enough time to mature by early to mid Fall.
- Type of Task: When it comes to succession planting in a short growing season, you can direct sow some fast growing crops but others will have to be started indoors. This schedule uses colours to define what type of task is required.
This succession planting schedule is only one of hundreds of examples!
You can get really granular with your succession planting and apply it to the types of fruit trees you plant and when they’re ready to harvest as well as to your perennial edibles.
The possibilities are endless when it comes to succession planting!
20 Vegetable Seeds To Succession Plant In July
1. Peas – How To Succession Plant
Peas are a fast growing annual crop that typically take about 45-60 days to harvest from initially planting. That means if you get your peas in the ground by mid-July, you can expect a harvest by early-September.
Be sure to direct sow your peas directly into the ground. To speed up germination, you can soak pea seeds in warm water for a few hours prior to planting. However, I rarely do this and find my germination rates are always high. So up to you!
My fav pea varieties are ones bred to produce huge vines, like these Cascadia Snap Peas.
2. Bush & Pole Beans – How To Succession Plant
Beans are another fast growing annual crop that can be succession planted throughout the gardening season. Again, be sure to direct sow them rather than trying to start indoors and transplanting. Beans do NOT transplant well. Plus, there’s no need to start indoors when soil temperatures are warm in July.
What’s the difference between bush beans & pole beans, you ask?
Bush beans are compact and grow low to the ground, becoming well, bushy! Every season I grow these Dragon Tongue Bush Beans and LOVE them.
Pole beans are climbers and develop vines that require a structure to grow up. I like growing my pole beans around bamboo post tipis or over a chicken wire trellis.
3. Cucumbers — How To Succession Plant
Cucumbers succession planted in early to mid July may not produce as many fruits as those started at the beginning of the season. But if you have a greenhouse or another warm location in your garden with direct sun, you’ll definitely reap a harvest.
Additionally, starting your cucumber seedlings indoors or under grow lights rather than direct sowing will speed up their growth even further. I transplant out our cucumber seedlings once they are 2-3 weeks old.
4. Carrots — How To Succession Plant
Carrots are one of my fav veggies to succession plant because they store so well throughout the Winter months. We are usually still enjoy garden storage carrots in February!
Direct sow carrot seeds up until early August. Carrots can be harvested after your last frost, so no need to rush to get them out of the ground when the temps get cold.
5. Parsnips — How To Succession Plant
Similar to carrots, parsnips are a cold tolerant root veggie that actually taste sweeter after a frost. I find parsnips are quite challenging to grow. They are slow to germinate and require 100+ days of growing time.
But if you want to give them a shot, be sure to direct sow and then thin your parsnips once they’ve established.
6. Beets — How To Succession Plant
The same growing tips apply to beets as mentioned with carrots and parsnips.
I also sometimes find beets can be a difficult crop to grow. But over the years, I’ve found that thinning them sooner than later will result in much bigger, healthier beet roots.
I like growing these Early Wonder Beets because they produce much earlier in this season. I typically enjoy my first harvest by early July.
7. Onion Sets — How To Succession Plant
Please don’t read this and assume you can succession plant onion seeds in July in Canadian gardens. You simply can NOT succession plant onion seeds! The growing season is too short.
But, you CAN absolutely succession plant onion sets! Sets are small onion bulbs from the previous season. They will speed up your growing time immensely.
8. Lettuces — How To Succession Plant
There’s so many great lettuce varieties you can succession plant all season long. I have many favs but always find myself going back to Dillon Organic Iceberg Lettuce (grocery store iceberg sucks, garden iceberg is amazing!) and Salad Blends, which you can harvest as baby greens after just 20-30 days of growing.
Just be sure to plant your lettuce in a shady location to avoid bolting when succession planting throughout the Summer. Or, select a bolt-resistant variety instead.
9. Spinach/Arugula —How To Succession Plant
I love succession planting spinach/arugula throughout most of the season. It’s quick to establish and freezes great.
My grow tip: densely sow your spinach and arugula seeds then harvest as baby greens. I find you get more green when planted like this.
10. Radishes —How To Succession Plant
I find radishes do best when succession planted in the shoulder seasons (early Spring & early Fall in my Zone 3 garden). If the weather is too hot, I find they don’t form full roots and instead just get lots of foliage.
So plan your radish plantings strategically based on your grow zone and garden. Try Black Spanish Radishes if you want to try something more unusual!
11. Turnips — How To Succession Plant
The same succession planting tips apply for turnips! They’re a crop that tends to be better during cooler weather.
Be sure to direct sow your turnips with adequate spacing so the roots can develop large globular bulbs.
12. Cabbage —How To Succession Plant
Cabbage and other veggies that fall into the brassica family do best for succession planting when started as transplants.
Give your seedlings 2-4 weeks of growing time in a smaller cell before transplanting out in the garden. If succession planted by mid to late July, you can expect to harvest by late September.
13. Kale — How To Succession Plant
While I prefer to start my kale as transplant rather than direct sowing, you can certainly do either. However, if you direct sow kale seeds just know you’ll be harvesting later.
Good news is that kale is very cold tolerant! You can continue harvesting even after your first frost. I’ve harvested kale once snow is on the ground! Every year I grow Darkibor Kale. It is insanely productive all season long. I can’t recommend it enough!
14. Broccoli —How To Succession Plant
Broccoli is another vegetable within the brassica family. When planted in July, broccoli is ready for harvest by early Fall.
I love succession planting broccoli at this time of the season as I find it establishes much quicker with the warm, long days. Broccoli is also cold-tolerant so a late Fall harvest (even with snow on the ground!) is no worries.
15. Cauliflower — How To Succession Plant
Like broccoli, cabbage and kale, cauliflower is a cold-tolerant vegetable in the brassica family. With all these plants, I’d recommend starting them in small cell trays that you can then transplant into the garden. This will allow you to control the growing environment more rather than direct sowing.
16. Kohlrabi —How To Succession Plant
I personally don’t grow kohlrabi in our garden (mostly just because I don’t cook with it!), but I’ve included it on my succession planting list for July because I know so many gardeners that love it.
Again, kohlrabi is a vegetable in the brassica family. So you can apply the same growing tips as above to it. You can either direct sow your kohlrabi or start as transplants, up to you!
17. Asian Greens —How To Succession Plant
There’s so many options when it comes to growing Asian greens. Pack choi, bok choi, tat soi…the list goes on and on.
I love succession planting these vegetables in July as you can eat them either as baby greens after 20-30 days or wait until they mature and enjoy the full heads in early September. I direct sow my Asian greens, but you could start transplants as well.
18. Fennel —How To Succession Plant
Fennel is another vegetable that doesn’t usually make it into my garden, but it can be succession planted in July. Baby bulbs of fennel will mature in 50-60 days and large heads will take about 80.
Direct sow fennel seeds in the garden. But be careful to plant them away from other vegetables as they can actually inhibit growth of many plants.
19. Celeriac — How To Succession Plant
Celeriac is a cold-tolerant root vegetable that is in the same family as celery. Though celeriac requires a long growing season of 110+ days, you can succession plant it up until the end of July in Zone 2-4 gardens. Just know, you won’t be harvesting until likely October.
20. Rutabaga —How To Succession Plant
Rutabaga is a cold tolerant root vegetable that will continue to thrive in your garden even as the Fall temperatures roll in.
You can succession plant rutabaga up until the end of July. Be sure to direct sow seeds and top dress with compost regularly throguhout the season as they are heavy feeders.
5 Flower Seeds To Succession Plant In July
1. Sunflowers —How To Succession Plant
Sunflowers are a fantastic flower for succession planting up until the end of July. Whether you select a cutting variety or a larger flower head, succession planting sunflowers will provide you blooms at different stages of the growing season.
2. Calendula —How To Succession Plant
Calendula has a special place in my heart. I always interplant it throughout veggies in my garden. I direct sow seeds in empty spots in the garden throughout the month of July.
The flowers are great for bouquets but also have many medicinal properties. You can also simply use them as garnish in salads. Plus, the bees are obsessed with them. Try planting a mix of yellow and orange varieties to add more colour to your garden beds.
3. Nasturtiums —How To Succession Plant
Nasturtiums are a quick growing edible flower with big, bold foliage. I tuck in extra nasturtium seeds into the corners of my beds to fill in the empty space after I harvest a crop.
Depending on your growing season, succession planting nasturtiums in July may not provide you many blooms. But you will definitely have lots of foliage, which adds nice texture to flower beds.
4. Cosmos —How To Succession Plant
I love growing cosmos in our Zone 3 garden and succession plant them every few weeks until the end of July. Cosmos are another flower that you will benefit from both the foliage and the blooms.
The green spikey foliage looks great as filler in bouquets. And I’ve had cosmos flower up until October here in Manitoba!
There’s SO many incredibly beautiful Cosmo varieties to choose from. I love going with a mixed blend of flowers so you can enjoy various bloom colours.
5. Rudbeckia —How To Succession Plant
I consider Rudbeckia (or Black eyed Susan) a great succession flower because it is a perennial in Zone 3 and warmer. So you’ll reap the benefits the following years even if planted late into the season. Simply direct sow seeds and gently cover with a thin layer of soil.
10 Herb Seeds To Succession Plant In July
1. Borage —How To Succession Plant
If you’ve followed my blog and Instagram for some time, you know I’m Borage obsessed. Some may feel the opposite as it does self seed in the garden and can have a tendency to take over. But I love it! It attracts so many bees to our garden.
Simply scatter the seeds on the soil and gently cover. You’ll see germination within 5-8 days if planted during July when temps are consistently warm.
2. Dill — How To Succession Plant
Dill is the queen herb of our garden. We use it constantly and can never get enough. Simply direct sow seeds 1 inch deep. I like to sow heavily so that my dill patch is nice and thick.
If you’re into growing dill for pickling, try a flower bouquet variety. If you prefer using it fresh in salads and other dishes, opt for a more compact variety instead.
3. Basil —How To Succession Plant
Basil is a herb I like to succession plant every few weeks until the end of July. You could start transplants but direct sowing when temperatures are warm will give you good success too.
There’s endless varieties to choose from but my go-tos are the broad leaf varieties like Lettuce Leaf Basil. I also love purple basil, specifically this Rosie Organic variety.
4. Cilantro — How To Succession Plant
Cilantro is a herb you can succession plant long after July is done. It’s a quick growing herb that prefers cooler weather. So be sure to either plant in a shady location during the Summer month’s or be on top of harvesting to avoid bolting.
There’s been years where I succession plant cilantro up until September. It’s a great herb for succession planting all season long! My forever fav variety is Santo Organic Cilantro.
5. Chamomile —How To Succession Plant
Is there anything prettier than a patch of chamomile flowers in the garden? Nope. The dainty flowers are so pretty. I’ve had success growing this German variety.
You can succession plant chamomile throughout July. I find it to be very adaptable to Summer heat and will germinate very quickly.
6. Parsley — How To Succession Plant
Parsley is another herb I have succession planted up until September in our Zone 3 garden. It does well in both warm and cooler temperatures.
I personally love the Italian varieties of Parsley like this Dark Green one. The flavour is so much more powerful in my opinion.
7. Chervil — How To Succession Plant
Chervil is a new-to-me herb that gets tons of love from the foodie community. The flavour is similar to parsley but a bit sweeter.
It’s quick growing and ready to harvest within 6-8 weeks of planting.
8. Lovage — How To Succession Plant
Lovage is a perennial herb hardy to Zone 3 (if well covered and protected throughout the Winter). I love the height and dimension it adds to a garden bed.
Simply direct sow the seeds 1/4 inch deep and keep soil moist during germination. You will quickly see it sprout and be able to harvest within just 6-8 weeks of planting.
9. Shiso — How To Succession Plant
If you’ve never heard of Shiso, here’s your sign to succession plant it now! It’s an Asian herb that has an unusual but enjoyable taste. The taste is hard to describe but reminds me of mint and cilantro…all at the same time! There’s lots of cool varieties to choose from, but I have experience growing Red Perilla, which produces really pretty purple leaves.
Shiso has similar growing habits to basil, enjoying full sun and well drained soil. Be sure to harvest often to promote new growth.
10. Summer Savory —How To Succession Plant
Finally, Summer Savory is a great herb for succession planting in July. It grows quickly (germinates in 5-8 days!). Direct sow seeds onto damp soil and just gently cover. Seeds need some direct sunlight in order to germinate.
I love using Summer Savory with roasted veggies! Try this easy-to-grow variety that we use in our garden from West Coast Seeds.
And there you have it!
All the best with your July succession planting. There’s so many great vegetables, flowers and herbs you can succession plant in July in Canada.
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