With the threat of frosts hopefully over and the days getting longer, June is always going to be a busy time in the garden. Particularly so this year with the weather having been so poor in May.
There’s no shortage of jobs to be getting on with this month – here’s our top jobs for your fruit and veg patch for June.
Succession planting is the key to avoiding a glut of produce. To ensure that you can keep picking through the season, keep sowing your peas and cut and come again salad. Sow sweetcorn plants out in the classic matrix pattern 30cm apart – their pollen is spread by the wind, so planting in this pattern improves the success of pollination. June is the last month to sow carrots, beetroot and turnips, and it’s time to check your directly sown crops and thin them out as required. Your brassicas should also be sown now.
Any plants that you have been hardening off should be able to go in the ground now. This includes courgettes, pumpkins, marrows, beans and tomatoes. Strawberry plants can also go out now and leeks should be ready to go to their final position.
Harvest and cut down
If you have been organised you will have some crops to harvest in June. If planted in March, early onward peas such as Kelvedon Wonder may be ready. Remember to cut pea and bean plants to the ground once harvested but leave the roots. It’s time to show restraint and stop harvesting asparagus in June. You should have plenty of salad crops to pick and perhaps best of all new potatoes will be ready for the pot.
Maintain exiting crops
Continue to ‘earth up’ potatoes – as your plants grow, cover up the stem with the soil from in between your rows, this encourages larger crops. Potatoes grow near the surface of the soil, and by earthing up you are giving them more space to make new tubers and it protects them from being exposed to direct sunlight and developing green skin.
Keep an eye on the weather, it’s especially important for your newly planted out crops to stay hydrated. Rather than a quick water every day, plants benefit from a good soak every few days.
Weed and mulch
Just like our plants, the weeds will be enjoying the warmer weather. Again think about prevention. Rather having to get the trowel out and struggle with dandelion roots, if you hoe the ground when the weeds are small, then everything is so much easier to deal with. Also keep adding mulch to suppress weeds before they gain a roothold.
Check structures and protection
Don’t wait until your beans are 3 foot high to check that your support structures are robust. Some light maintenance now could save time and anguish later in the season. Also ensure that your netting is ready to protect your soft fruit, brassicas and peas.
If your tomatoes are in growbags or pots it’s important to start feeding them. Remember on cordons to pinch out the side shoots that grow in the gap between the stem and the branches.