June sees a mixture of looking after growing crops and sowing new. Replace finished ones such as peas, broad beans and lettuce in July.
Nip out broad bean tops as soon as you spot the first blackfly, daily inspection recommended. If you planted your beans early enough, they should have plenty of little bean pods already. Ants and ladybirds may come and help by eating them too, or you can spray with soapy water on a regular basis to keep the population down. So long as you have given each plant plenty of growing space, quite a few flowers will set seed. The plants collapse under the weight of a heavy crop, so support your row with stakes and baler twine.
Tomatoes need constant attention. For indoor plants, moderate watering every other day is optimum to avoid blossom end rot and stress related disease and predators getting hold. If in grobags, water twice daily on a hot and windy day. Yet too much water will make the fruits split and encourage too many side shoots, which should be nipped out regularly. Plentiful organic matter, moisture and space will avoid most strees problems such as whitefly, spider mite and greenback. The same goes for most plants, such as courgettes: their first fruit never gets big, so pick it small.
Pick carrots at twilight or when raining so the root fly isn’t on the wing, and avoid treading on foliage at all times. The mild winter means there are many slugs about, and we have had to re-sow bare patches of soil. Small carrots are very sweet, and if you have enriched your soil, big ones are too.
Transplant your winter cabbage, kale and purple sprouting plants in June. Kale can be transplanted in early July if wanted, but now for full sized cabbage heads to cut in late October and store over winter. Spacing at 24” will get a big heart, less space will give a smaller heart. I now use Enviromesh over my cabbage, which not only keeps caterpillars off, but acts like a greenhouse and can grow 5 lb. heads.
What to sow in June
Carrots, squash, French beans (for September cropping), Bulb Fennel, swede, beetroot, Radicchio, endive, lettuec & cucumber all do well from a June sowing. Remember that if you sow in modules and then transplant at 4-6 weeks old, you gain an extra 4-6 weeks of mid-summer growing time. This works for all but carrots, which have to be sown in the soil.
And why did the blonde put lipstick on her forehead? To make up her mind.