As it’s been a wet and miserable week and half term for my daughters, I didn’t get to visit my allotment other than to water my polytunnel and pick salads. So I thought I would bring my usual monthly post forward by a couple of days, which I think will be helpful anyway at this time of year:
When I first started to grow vegetables I really needed the information to be in one place, so I could look it up easily. However, I found I had to search for lots of little bits of information, scattered between internet sites and books. It used to take me a long time to find the information I needed.
I thought it would be useful to have this information altogether in one place. So for the benefit of the UK gardeners, I write a list of things to be done each month and any useful information I can think of.
It is worth remembering that different parts of the UK have different weather conditions e.g. the last frost is expected earlier in the south than the north, therefore this is a general guide.
June is the midpoint of the year and the days are at their longest, so plants will be enjoying the extra hours of sunlight.
Temperatures should be steadily rising and the risk of frost should have just about passed for all areas. This is a good time for plant growth, but it is also a good time for pests and diseases to attack, so keep checking your plants.
Vegetables and salads to harvest:
Broad beans (overwintering varieties), spinach beet and chard, peas, asparagus (traditionally up until midsummers day), globe artichokes, kohl rabi, calabrese and summer sprouting broccoli, overwintering onions, beetroot, garlic, early potatoes, cauliflowers, turnips, carrots and florence fennel. Lettuces, radishes, mixed salad leaves and spring onions.
Fruit to harvest:
Strawberries and gooseberries.
Vegetables and salads to sow:
Sprouting broccoli and calabrese, beetroot, french beans, turnips, carrots, kale, swedes, runner beans, kohl rabi, peas, spinach, perpetual spinach, fennel and swiss chard. Pumpkins, courgettes, marrows and other squashes can be sown now still, if you are quick.
Lettuces and salad leaves (though they are harder to germinate in hot weather), mizuna, mibuna and other oriental leaves. Rocket, spring onions, radishes.
Things to plant:
Brassicas can be planted out, these include brussel sprouts, red and white cabbages, cauliflowers, kohl rabi, spouting broccoli, calabrese and kale. Leeks, peas, lettuces and salad leaves can be planted too.
Also, aubergines, peppers, chillis, outdoor cucumbers, pumpkins, courgettes, marrows, patty pans, runner beans, french beans, asparagus pea, celery, celeriac, summer squashes, sweet corn, tomatoes, florence fennel, sweetcorn and sweet potatoes.
Cape gooseberries, melons and strawberries can also be planted this month, together with container grown herbs.
Jobs to do in June:
Keep weeding and mulch with compost if the ground is damp. Mulching will suppress the weeds and help to keep the soil moist.
Thin out any seedlings you have grown, so they have room to grow.
Earth up potatoes.
Water if it is dry. It is better to give a ‘good’ watering once a week, rather than water a small amount daily, as this will help the plant roots to grow deeper to find water.
Cut back herbs such as chives, mint, thyme, sage, etc. to remove old leaves. New growth will then appear with fresh leaves for you to enjoy.
After midsummers day, stop picking asparagus and give them a feed with a general purpose fertiliser. Let them grow until autumn, then cut them down when the top growth has died and is completely brown.
When your peas or beans have stopped producing, cut down the foliage leaving the roots in the ground, as these have lots of nitrogen in their modules, which will be good for your next crops.
Feed tomatoes when you can see their first little tomatoes forming. Use a high potash feed, a comfrey feed is perfect for this. See how to make a comfrey feed here.
Remove new raspberry suckers or shoots that are unwanted. If your canes become too thick and dense it stops the sunlight and air from getting to the inside canes, which can cause disease or under-developed fruit.
Prune the side shoots on grape vines and thin out fruit so remaining fruit will grow larger.
The ‘June drop’ takes place this month, but your apples and pears may need some help with this. So thin out areas that are overcrowded so the remaining fruit will grow larger and branches won’t break with the weight of the remaining fruit.
Tie in blackberry canes.
Put up shading in your greenhouse to protect plants from the heat of the sun.
Keep pinching off the sideshoots on your tomatoes.
Remove any strawberries that have been affected by grey mould.
June pests and diseases:
Protect your brassicas, peas, strawberries and even lettuces from pigeons, by keeping them netted.
Slugs and snails will eat newly planted seedlings. Wet weather will bring them out, especially at night.
Pick off and remove asparagus beetles and their larvae.
Flea beetles will leave tiny little holes all over leaves of radishes, rocket, beetroot and they especially like brassica seedlings. Plants do usually recover, though when they are badly affected it can stunt their growth. Keep the seedlings moist so they grow as strong as possible.
Cabbage root fly can still be a problem this month, as they lay their eggs at the base of brassicas, so it is best to fit cabbage collars around the base of them. See here how to make your own cabbage collars.
Remove any yellow leaves from brassicas to stop pests from hiding in them or diseases from spreading.
Check brassicas for caterpillars. Pick them off or squash them.
Check gooseberry and currant bushes for the sawfly larvae which look like caterpillars and pick them off. Also, check gooseberries for American gooseberry mildew.
Blackfly love the soft new growth on broad beans. As soon as the first tiny pods start to form at the base of your plants, ‘pinch off’ the top couple of inches from your broad bean plants, which will help to deter the blackfly.
Blackfly also love globe artichokes, runner beans and french beans and beetroot. Wipe the blackfly between your fingers and thumb to squash them and/or grow sacrificial plants next to them that the black fly love more e.g. nasturtiums next to runner beans.
Carrot flies are still around this month, so protect your crops with environ mesh.
If you haven’t already done this, lay a mulch of dry straw around your strawberries to keep your strawberries off the wet soil. Dry straw will help to deter slugs and keep annual weeds from germinating.
Pea moth can be a problem this month. Cover peas with a layer of fleece to protect them.
If you didn’t do this in May, hang pheromone traps in apple and plum trees to attract and catch the male codling moths and plum moths, to prevent them mating with a female.
Net your cherries to protect them from birds.
Check grapes for mildew and scale insects.
Thank you for reading my blog today, I hope this post will be useful.
I will be back next Friday at 4pm. Have a good week.