June 2016

General work
Keep an eye out for caterpillars as this is their month for feeding on all cabbages; look under the leaves for their yellow eggs and remove. With your hoe, earth up your main crop potatoes, a bit at a time over a couple of weeks, doing this three times in all.

Water potatoes, garlic and onion if we get a dry spell to increase yields.
Succession sowing of lettuces, radishes and turnips.

Make sure you plant out your winter greens – Brussels sprouts, Broccoli, Kale and cabbages, watching out for slugs and if you can, start off under a cloche to protect against caterpillars. You can intercrop between them with summer cabbages, carrots, lettuce, beetroot and, if you like ‘fancy stuff’ as Mr S calls it, kohl rabi.

Keep weeding! Be careful when hoeing around young plants; if you need glasses wear them otherwise you could chop off the plants.
Be careful if you are composting the weeds; seeds can be hidden and unseen by the eye.

Remove runners from strawberries unless you want them for propagation (more on how to do this next month). Mulch well using coconut shells or wood-chippings; this will keep the water in and the fruit clean when it rains. You can use straw but it makes a nice home for slugs and mice. Keep ripening strawberries safe from hungry birds by popping over a net - or move your scarecrow closer.

Early potatoes should be ready for digging if you've not already started. Lift a root to see what is there and as long as they’re big enough, for use, then lift just as many as you need. New potatoes do not keep well out of the ground so dig as you need. If you need to keep them at home a couple of days make sure they’re not exposed to daylight otherwise they’ll go green. Mr S wraps his in the old newspapers but Gary uses smart brown paper bags

Pumpkins and winter squashes
Sow now and remember they like a warm constant temperature to germinate – so best done in pots at home if you can. Like marrows and courgettes they get very hungry and prefer to be planted in well soil that has had lots of well rotted manure – or you can add some dried chicken pellets. Keep well watered by plunging sections of pipe or empty pot plants buried to ground level so that the water reaches the roots. You can grow trailing squashes between your rows of second early potatoes if your trenches are wide or under sweet-corn. Y

It’s not too late to sow some now. Like pumpkins, they’re hungry plants so feed and water well. ou can train courgettes up the stems of your sweetcorn - it will make a talking point amongst your fellow allotmenteers

Runner –beans
Can be planted out now if not already done so. It’s a good idea to mulch with grass cuttings if suffering lack of rainfall, only make sure the cuttings are no more that two inches deep; more than that and the runner-bean roots will get too hot.

Broad beans
Pinch out the tops of any sown in the autumn. This will help their energy go into producing bean pods rather than height; it may also stop attack by black fly. You can also try growing nasturtiums as these are preferred by black-fly.

Gooseberries and red and white current bushes
Gradually, over the next 5-6 weeks, when the side shoots are 5-6 inches in length, trim them to about 3 inches. This will save you work in the winter and improve your crop.

The Director chews parsley because she says it is ‘helps keep the skin healthy’. It is also a rich source of vitamins and iron and maybe this is why slugs like eat so much of it when it’s young and tender. They can be tricky go grow from seed however – best done in pots, parsley likes a constant temperature of 65 F, must be kept moist at all times and can take up 4-6 weeks to germinate.

Gary has this as it is a ‘posh’ plant. You have to stop cutting it about mid- June so that the plants can make foliage for next year’s crowns.

French Beans
You can make a sowing this week in a sheltered area and they should crop for you in September and keep going until the first frosts.

Can be planted out during June. They’re pollinated by wind and not by bees so you must plant in square formation. If you have mice on the plot, try putting pots over the cobs to stop the mice being able to reach the corns.

Gently tap the flower trusses daily to help with pollination. Feed weekly - they are hungry plants and remember to pinch out side shoots.

Mabel always keeps a small patch for the butterflies but be careful, they spread quickly.

More Plot Updates

September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
April 2018
March 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017