In the Vegetable Garden - Things to do this Month - June

 slugBy now, things will be racing away in the vegetable garden and you should already be enjoying the fruits of your labour!

Refer to the Vegetable Planting Diary – Month by Month.

  • Save water: despite last year’s record rainfall, we may well have another drought ahead of us this year, so invest in some water butts and save this valuable resource. It’s also worth learning which plants can stand a bit of drought, and which must have their regular drink!    
  • Use the extra daylight hours to weed the plot regularly, and make sure you catch weeds before they have time to set seed or you will have a summer of weeds despite your best efforts
  • Weeding is best done with a hoe in the early morning so that the sun can burn off the uprooted weedlings … Use a fork for deep-rooted weeds such as dandelions and docks, and make sure all of the root is removed as they can regenerate from the smallest pieces of root
  • Once you’ve cleared the weeds, apply a deep layer of mulch (well-rotted manure or garden compost) to improve soil texture and add nutrients
  • If you need to water, do this late in the evening so that the water will have time to penetrate the soil without being evaporated by hot sunshine
  • Anything that you’ve raised in pots can now be planted out in the ground
  • Don’t forget to lime soil before planting out brassicas
  • Continue with regular sowings of salad leaves and root vegetables to ensure a summer-long supply
  • Continue thinning root crops: carrots, parsnips, beetroot, turnip, radish, etc., ALTHOUGH IT MIGHT SEEM WASTEFUL, YOU’LL GET MUCH GREATER YIELDS FROM THE THINNED PLANTS – you can use the thinnings as ‘micro-vegetables’
  • Transplant leek seedlings to their final growing position when they’re about pencil-thick
  • Don’t be tempted to plant things closer together than the recommended distances – they won’t do as well if they’re cramped for space
  • Be vigilant for slugs, go out with a torch at night, especially after rain when they’re most active and pick them into a bucket for disposal; also consider nematode control and for more ideas, see our brief article on slug control
  • Towards the end of the month, you can move outdoor tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers from the greenhouse to their growing positions
  • Plant out squash, pumpkins and sweetcorn
  • Earth up maincrop potatoes, and try digging a root of earlies – the little spuds are a real treat!
  • If anything’s looking a bit sad and yellow, it probably needs feeding – consider growing a comfrey patch instead of using artificial fertiliser; stuff comfrey leaves into a water butt, the resulting liquid makes a great organic plant food