Early June Garden.

Person Author: Helen Fowler Calender June 9, 2013 Posted Tags: , , , , Comment 1 Comment

Hard to believe we are in June now. The good weather we have had over the last couple of weeks has really made a difference. Everything is growing so fast, I can hardly keep up with the potting up, tying in and pinching out!

I have baby tomatoes set on some of the early plants, young peas and broad beans and flowers on my chilli’s. My bush tomatoes were planted out in pots and tubs outside last week and are looking good with lots of flowers.

The bed and borders are full and lush, with little spare space for any new plants, but as I have grown oriental poppies, helebores and himalayan cowslips from seed, I will have to find room somewhere!

The soft fruit is looking great and there is a good set on the currants and blueberries.

My garlic that was planted in October is growing wonderfully, the elephant garlic is well over 2ft 6 inches tall and the variety Lautrec Wight is not far behind. The variety Solent Wight was very late to come through, but is now growing strongly. I think the Lautrec Wight which is a hard neck variety is more suited to my cold wet winters than the soft necked Solent Wight, but we will see at harvesting. I know many folks just buy supermarket garlic to plant, but as much of the loose garlic sold in shops comes from China, I would encourage you to buy your garlic for planting this Autumn from a UK supplier. I really believe it is worth the extra money to plant garlic bred for the UK as I’m sure it gives a superior crop. Also I’m not keen on growing or eating garlic that has been imported all the way from China. Some months ago there was a programme on TV about New Covent Garden and the produce sold there. They showed restaurant buyers paying a premium for the small amount of UK grown garlic that was available, some of the restaurants were Chinese! Go figure! On a similar note I’m sure you have heard the rumblings in the EU about changes to rules about what seed varieties we can grow, we may have won this round, but the only way to keep a full choice of heirloom seeds and the widest selection of varieties, is by supporting our small indepentant UK suppliers of seeds and vegetables. Please support companies like Seedparade whenever you can.

Although most veggies will have been sown, dont forget to keep sowing more for later crops. I am sowing lettuce and rocket every few weeks for a succession of tasty salads, more peas in modules for planting out in July, and potatoes in tubs. I have sown and planted salads inbetween my rows of onions as a catch crop and they will be used long before the onions need the room. Although the weather has been good, I havn’t planted my sweet corn out yet. I have a island bed in the lawn that has some flowering plants in that are past their best, as it’s in full sun, I will remove them this week to make way for the sweet corn.

If you have tomatoes in the greenhouse, dont forget to keep pinching out the side shoots on vine or corden varieties, the seed packet will discribe them as indeterminate. This pinching out of the side shoots encourages better fruits, diverting the plants energy into fruits instead of growth. And keep tying in the main stem to canes or strings for support. Watch the temperatures on sunny days, it can rise dramatically, better to leave the doors open during the day, than to cook them. If I am working, I water my greenhouse plants in the morning, this keeps them going throughout the day.  If you are growing bush tomatoes there is no pinching out or tying in to do, just pot them into containers, and feed and water well.

If you have melons in the greenhouse, dont forget to help them by hand pollinating, transfering pollen from one plant to another gives the best results. I use a small soft paintbrush for the job. You can easily tell the male and female flowers apart, the female flowers will have a baby melon behind the petals.

I am growing pea beans and lab lab beans this year, they are growing very well and I look forward to trying the results. I like to try some new vegetables or varieties each year, some I love and they become favorites, others I decide not to bother with again, but always I love the anticipation of a new taste. I encourage you to try something new too, you never know what you might discover.



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