June: Miles Ferrante

So, June is here which is always a busy month with many plants still to plant now the risk of frost has gone. Lots of other jobs to do too, but hopefully with longer and warmer days they should be much more enjoyable. Remember though June also sees the weeds growing well and pest arriving to eat our produce before we can.

Sow:

  • Beetroot – taste so much better when grown yourself, Bolthardy is a tried and trusted variety. Sow in modules instead of direct into ground.
  • Cabbage – Tundra is a great winter variety and does well on our site.
  • Carrots – cheap to buy so try something different, yellow, purple or red. Yellowstone is better than any orange variety. Deep purple is a good purple variety.
  • Chard – use leaves as spinach, very easy to grow and “Bright lights” is a stunning variety.
  • Courgettes – Defender is disease resistant. All green bush is the chefs preferred choice.
  • French Beans – try Ferrari (dwarf) or Cobra (climbing).
  • Lettuce – sow little and often and try something different such as Nyman’s, Dazzle or Red Iceberg.
  • Radishes – sow little and often.
  • Salad leaves and Rocket – rocket gives that salad a little kick.
  • Runner Beans – White Lady will give you a guaranteed crop. Also try Enorma which is stocked in shop. Canes also available in shop.
  • Spinach – a good variety is perpetual spinach.
  • Spring Onions – White Lisbon is an AGM trusted variety.
  • Swede – quite hard to grow but tastes amazing when grown yourself, invitation is the professional gardeners favourite.
  • Turnips – carry on sowing summer varieties.

 Plant:

  • Asparagus – cut until the traditional time to stop harvesting which is June 21st
  • Artichokes – harvest and cook if you know how, or just leave them for the bees and butterflies as I do as they make fantastic flowers.
  • Aubergine – remove growing tip from the main stem when 12″ tall.
  • Broad Bean – pinch out top 3″ of stems when pods appear to thwart aphids.
  • Cabbage – net or you will find the pigeons having a picnic on your plot, they can disappear in minutes!
  • Chilli – feed every 2 weeks.
  • Courgettes – harden off before planting out.
  • Cucumber – pinch out growing point when it reaches the roof. Keep damp and feed every 2 weeks.
  • French Beans – tie in loosely.
  • Leeks – plant out when pencil thick.
  • Onions – remove plants that are flowering or at least cut flowers off.
  • Peas – keep well-watered. Net against hungry birds.
  • Potatoes – keep earthing up.
  • Pumpkins – harden off before planting out.
  • Runner beans – plant out now frost has gone.
  • Rhubarb – continue harvesting sticks.
  • Sweetcorn – harden off. They are wind pollinated so need to be planted in blocks not lines.
  • Tomatoes – plant outdoor varieties in ground or growbag’s which are available at the shop. Feed every 14 days, pick off side-shoots between the main vertical stem and a leaf.

Fruit:

  • Plums and Apples – put up pheromone traps, it will stop males mating with females so less maggots will appear in the fruit.
  • Raspberries – keep an eye on weeds. Look out for aphids and raspberry beetle.
  • White and Red currents – cover from birds and caterpillars. Prune new growth back to 2 buds.
  • Gooseberries – look out for caterpillars and sawfly.
  • Strawberries – protect from birds and mice. Some people mulch with straw which keeps the fruit clean and it looks good, but I find it attracts slugs. Have grown most of mine in the greenhouse this year and they have been amazing.
  • Grapevine – check for scale insect and mildew..

Other jobs:

Apply a general-purpose fertilizer on all vegetables to get a bigger healthier crop. The allotment shop has several fertiliser’s available most at £1 a kilo, including tomato feed, fish blood and bone, Growmore, and the professional’s choice Vitax Q4.

The shop also has many other items including canes, environmentally friendly slug pellets, netting, and a good choice of seeds including runner beans. And all proceeds go back into the allotments.

It’s still raining as I write this, but it’s good to remember that after every storm there’s a rainbow.