Every year is different and broad beans, peas and potatoes have been loving this year’s mostly cool and recently wet weather.
After the slow start crops are now catching up and there is a profusion of leaf. Peas like it cool, whereas French beans are still struggling in md June and waiting for greater warmth. We have more beans sown in modules in case the slugs get the better of their weak growth, but they should have taken off by the time you read this.
One interesting homeopathic idea for this year’s plethora of slugs is to spray soil with a potion of toasted snail shells called helix tosta, which repels slugs and snails. It is expensive to buy, but practitioners are pleased with the results.
Quite a few people have noticed that fresh ground seems to grow vegetables better than continuously cultivated areas. Plant for plant the former grassland area in my orchard grows 50% heavier crops. We have only managed a slight improemet by scattering rock dust on the old soil. The ultimate growing system is that of biodynamics, which rotates between grazed grassland and vegetables.
It helps if you plant out strong plants, but when the weather is poor they inevitably weaken. Most of my French beans have survived except the ones in the shade of broad beans.
Soil sown crops like carrots have been difficult to germinate through a combination of slugs sliming out of the strawberry bed next door and blackbirds scratching through the soil. One sowing of carrots under fleece did fine, not so much from keeping it warm but keeping the birds off.
We have been making plenty of second sowings in modules in case the first crop fails, especially after finding aminopyralid in bought compost.
We have again had our sowings crippled by Aminopyralid contamination in bagged multipurpose compost, this time from Murphys. It is made by Scott of USA and a complaint is in place, but why is this terrible and persistent chemical given permission for use? I hope none of you have it, but if you do please ring 01935 822202 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
And what is the difference between broccoli and bogeys? Young children don’t eat broccoli.
What to sow now
Many crops can be sown or transplanted in early July. Transplant French beans. Sow bulb fennel, carrots, endive, swede, chard and salads such as lettuce, radicchio, endive, parsley, dill, coriander. Also brassicas such as late calabrese, spring cauliflower, kale, purple sprouting, beetroot, late carrots and Pak Choi for hearting.