Well June is here and it’s the turning point of the year. With spring now in recession and as the summer begins it will be the last chance to sow seeds of runner beans or main crop carrots. This is the month where one starts to sees the fruits of one’s labour come to life.
If you’re lucky enough, one can harvest your first crop of potatoes, beetroot, onions, spinach, strawberries cherries and gooseberries this month but as we know April and May have not been so friendly with the weather so it might be a bit later on in the month where you can harvest these wares.
Cutting Asparagus continues until 21st June but a little longer is acceptable if you still have tender spears available. If you have planted new crowns this year then you should not harvest any spears, leave them until next year and only then harvest about 30% of the spears on each crown. Year three is the year one can gain the full benefit of your investment. Early crops of broad beans can be harvested along with garlic. Garlic can be pulled and used straight away when green or left until the leaves turn yellow. Leaving garlic in the ground, cutting the seed heads off and cooking them also adds to a delicious meal.
Jobs for this month include sowing seeds for vegetable such as salad leaves and herbs. One can plant out tender seedlings with confidence now that the frost has passed. Plant out Brussels sprouts and cabbages, cauliflower seedlings sown in spring and celeriac. Celery should be planted in rich fertile soil in particular a special celery trench containing manure or compost. Plant out any remaining outdoor tomatoes and stake them.
Continue to sow beetroot, sow late broccoli and if you don’t already have courgettes, squashes, pumpkin and marrow plants raised in pots you can now sow the seeds directly in the ground, two seeds together. Once germinated remove the weaker of the two. Outdoor cucumber is usually started off earlier in the year in pots under cover but you can sow seeds outside this month.
Sow a second wave of French beans to follow those that were sown outside last month and Swiss chard.
Aubergines are best grown in pots. They require high heat and humidity so in a greenhouse is your best shot at these. Stake them when the first fruit appears
Peppers and chillies need a long growing season in order to ripen fully and thus should have been raised initially indoors. Harden off the seedlings by planting them out into pots and placing them in your green house or keep them indoors. Feed them every two weeks with general fertilizer or liquid tomato feed.
With fruit bushes and trees this month’s jobs include removing Raspberry suckers, tying in blackberry bushes. Thin out apples and pears, “the June drop” will happen at the end of the month but you may wish to thin out more. Plums and damsons may also need thinning out once at the beginning of the month and again at the end. Leave 1 inch between individual fruit. Prune established fig trees this month by pinching out the tips of new shoots so that they each have only five leaves left.
Those of you that are lucky enough to have grape vines should also prune side shoots and thin outdoor fruit for eating so that the remaining bunches can ripen easily and grow to a good size.
Unfortunately, snails, slugs and other such creatures all adding to our biodiversity are chomping away at our vegetables and destroying the hard work we have put into keeping our allotments in good order. So, you need to be tirelessly vigilant to keep these critters to a manageable level or your hard work would have been for nought. Net cabbage, peas and fruit bushes against birds.
Weeding is one of those top priorities to keep your plot in tip top condition and weeding will also improve the growth on your crops by reducing competition of nutrients and light. Water regularly especially in dry spells.