The June garden
Our organic gardening expert Sarah Hamilton talks us through the essential jobs on the plot (although what I really need is for her to come and sort mine out for me!)
Well it’s hardly ‘flaming June’ – soggy June, more like! But when there’s a break in the showers there are jobs to do. Weeding, mainly – if your plot’s anything like mine, it’ll be growing like mad with all this rain! But – if you can spot them through the showers – there are many flowers and shrubs in bloom now and there should be plenty of colour around.
Pot it up
Containers, window boxes and hanging baskets can be safely potted up now. All risk of frost has gone and there is a wide range of suitable plants available -no need to worry about hardiness now. If you have some faded bulbs in containers you can take off the dead growth, scrape some of the old compost away-being careful not to disturb the bulbs and add some fresh compost. You can then plant annual bedding such as Lobelia or Petunias. The bulbs will come through again next spring.
Bean and gone
If you planted broad beans this year you should be picking them from about now on. Tender beans can still be sown where they are to grow now, the soil is warm and they will get going quickly. Tender French beans and runner beans will both grow successfully in a large pot. If they are a climbing variety they will need strong tall canes to climb up. I’ve grown some ‘Crusader’ this year which is an older, traditional variety of Runner. As runner beans grow taller curl their stems around a cane in an anti-clockwise direction -they’ll soon take off themselves. I chose ‘Speedy’ French beans -they are a dwarf variety and as the name suggests, they are quick to crop.
As plants begin to produce fruit they will benefit from a liquid feed. Tomatoes should be fed once a week with a tomato feed -especially those grown in pots or grow-bags. This type of feed is good for peppers and courgettes too. Other crops such as Strawberries, salad leaves and cucumbers can be fed with a general liquid feed.
Many pests are tricky to spot but one that is a bit easier is the Lily Beetle as it is bright red. They nibble away at the leaves and this weakens the plant. Although fairly easy to spot, Lily beetles are harder to catch. The easiest way to control them is to pick them off and squash them but they tend to scurry underneath a leaf when they see you coming!
Our allotment looks like a pile of poo…
Check out our gorgeous veggie recipe for aubergine and tamarind stew
Here comes the summer! Read all about the Peas family’s camper van plans…
Fancy camping? In the rain? We did it. Here’s what happened…
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