‘For the next couple of months, the garden will look at its best. All signs of winter are gone, and with plenty of crops coming to fruition, the vegetable patch should be luxuriant, with rows of broad beans ready for picking, and lettuces and other salad vegetables that can be gathered every day for light lunches and suppers.‘ (David Mabey)
‘Although June brings the longest days aqnd the strongest sunshine, it is not often the warmest month of the summer, because the soil and surrounding seas are still cool and do not reach their annual maximum until July.‘ (Frances Perry)
General work for this month involves caring for the plants that you have already sown earlier, and that are now developing in the raised beds. This is the month for constantly checking on their progress, thinning and weeding, mulching, and protecting from pests by keeping them covered with horcticultural fleece, or when exposed, using other specialised protective measures to protect from bird and insect pests.
Keep a continuing eye on young parsnips, carrots, turnips, and beetroot grown under fleece and make sure to thin them adequately to allow for future growth of selected plants. When uncovering young carrots, be sure to uncover the plants for the least time possible, as carrot fly are attracted by the scent of the carrot thinnings. Continue to monitor the progress of potato plants, and keep them earthed up.
Runner beans, and dwarf and climbing French beans started off in pots can be planted at the base of wigwams and poles, or sown directly into the ground by the beginning of this month. Protect from snails and slugs by copper tape round the top of the raised beds, and promote growth by winding fleece round wigwams.
Kales, winter cabbage, sprouting broccoli, winter cauliflower and Brussels sprouts can all be sown in a seed bed this month for later transplanting in July. Be sure to cover the seed beds with fleece to warm up the soil and protect emerging seedlings from pests.
Salads and curcubits
Successive sowings of radish, lettuce and rocket can be made, with potted sweet corn, marrows, courgettes, pumpkins and outdoor cucumber plants being set out on raised beds under fleece at the end of the month.
Copyright (c) 2013 Torbay Organic Gardening Society, 25 Church Road, St Marychurch, Torquay TQ1 4QY
Tel 01803 328055 Leaflet No: CAL6