Welcome to warmer weather and a better chance of seeing your seedlings grow, rather than just the weeds! June is a month to savour as you pick the first of your early peas and broad beans, radishes and lettuces, gooseberries and strawberries! Beware late frosts at the start of the month, so protect tender seedlings and watch out for pests of all kinds! We have been aware that we have had sightings of the Alder Leaf beetle, which attacks apple and pear trees, killing them eventually, so treat as soon as you spot any damage. Some of the fruit trees on site have already been affected and RHS advice is to pick them off or spray immediately with an organic contact insecticide containing natural pyrethrins (eg Bug Clear Gun for Fruit and Veg or Neudorff Bug Free Bug and Larvae Killer.) The beetles (7-8mm long) are a metallic blue and the larvae, which also attack the leaves, look like long black caterpillars. They are active until July.
The working party at the end of May was very successful. Grateful thanks to Caroline, Helen, Peter and Christine, Brian, Reg, Duncan, Nick and Amy, Liz and Sue for sterling efforts in tackling all the routine jobs which we are obliged to do ourselves: Plot 12 was cleared of unwanted shrubs and saplings, the grass frontage was mown, the polytunnel cleared of leaves and weeds and the sheds swept out. Coffee and cake was the just reward for such hard work and a rain- free morning was welcomed!
If anyone finds a rake lying about, please could you replace it onto Plot 2.
The Plant sale is in preparation; please leave your surplus seedlings and plants in the SPAA designated areas in the polytunnel from this week. They will be arranged and priced up and the sale will start on Saturday 5th June. Please pay by BACS, (details are in the polytunnel) or put money in the Honesty Box. Thank you for your support. All funds raised go towards maintaining or purchasing equipment. You will have noticed that there are another 2 new wheelbarrows for use.
Have you put Saturday 24th July in your diary for our Ten Year Celebration Barbecue? Please note also another important date, Thursday 8th July for our AGM. Details and confirmation will follow.
WHAT TO DO IN JUNE:
VEGETABLES TO SOW OUTSIDE: Continue sowing beetroot at the beginning and end of this month for a succession of crops. Sow broccoli and calabrese where you will harvest them, as calabrese, in particular, does not like to be transplanted. This is the last chance to sow carrots. Sow pumpkins, courgettes and marrows, Florence fennel, French and runner beans, kohlrabi, peas, swedes, Swiss chard and turnips. Sow salad leaves and spring onions.
PLANT OUT: Brussels sprouts, cabbages, cauliflowers, celeriac, courgettes , kale and leeks, marrows and pumpkins, sweet potatoes, sweet corn and sprouting broccoli. Try growing cucumbers, peppers, chillies and aubergines outdoors too. Tomatoes can also be successful outdoors.
JOBS FOR JUNE:
- Earth up potatoes to keep out the light
- Build supports for climbing beans
- Feed tomatoes once the first fruits are formed
- Finish picking asparagus by the end of the month and leave the remaining stalks to grow. Feed them and water the bed.
- Cut down peas and beans once harvesting is finished but leave the roots in the soil to produce nitrogen.
- Pot up strawberry runners and summer- prune gooseberries and red and white currants.
- Summer-prune herbs such as mint, chives, sage and thyme, to encourage a fresh supply of leaves.
- Prune side shoots on grape vines.
- Tie in blackberries and remove raspberry suckers.
- Dib in leeks and then fill the hole with water.
- Check netting, weed and water regularly!