At last the garden fills with growing plants this month, and the first harvests are very special. And so more space appears, and there is a chance to sow more crops—it never stops, especially as we open our garden 19 & 20 June, and there must be no gaps!
As cut and come again lettuce slowly rise to flower, sow replacements for later transplanting. By July salads need a good deal of rain to stop them rising almost straight away, so it helps to mulch the soil with compost and pick all but three leaves off at each harvest. Little Gem is good for August harvests, either as cut and come again or as hearting lettuce, although slugs like to move in and live inside the hearts, which is the beauty of cut and come again.
Nip out the tops of broad beans when you have enough flowers, as blackfly establish on the soft growing tip. No year can be as bad as last year, but even then the ants—we don’t use slug pellets—did eventually eat the fly. Blackfly don’t like soapy water, especially if you keep spraying it on. If it is dry, give the plants water to help set fruit and, if the plants are too close, thinning them out will help them set more fruit, as well as making the plant less stressed and vulnerable to blackfly.
Water the soil around runner and French beans and courgettes for the same reason, and watering over the courgette leaves helps prevent mildew on the leaves.
Hoe around and/or thin carrots (and parsley) when windy, raining or at twilight to stop the dreaded root fly smelling them. Water them if dry to increase growth and stop them splitting when we get heavy rain for Glastonbury.
Leeks can be dibbed at the end of the month, which helps fatten the stalks. If the leaves are heavily rusted they may either be short of water, or being eaten by leek moth/leaf miner. It is difficult to stop this pest increasing if you’ve got it, and we now grow ours under Enviromesh.
And why don’t cannibals eat clowns? Because they taste funny.
Sowings in June
As gaps appear, sow or transplant beetroot, more French beans, carrots, lettuce, masses of brassicas such as swede, winter cabbage, sprouts, cauliflower, calabrese and broccoli and, after the solstice, bulb Florence fennel, radicchio and endives.