June signals the mid-point of the year, the end of spring and the beginning of summer. This month offers the last opportunity to sow many seeds however it does offer the first opportunity to harvest some crops. You would be very unlucky to experience any frosts now but unfortunately attacks from insects, birds, slugs and snails is more likely. Lots of other jobs to do too, but hopefully with longer and warmer days they should be much more enjoyable. Remember though June also sees the weeds growing well and pests arriving to eat our produce before we can.
Harvest new season early potatoes, peas and broad beans, onions, beetroot, summer salad crops and fruit such as strawberries, gooseberries and cherries
Sow seeds for vegetables, salads and herbs for picking in late summer and autumn:
Beetroot Sow in modules instead of direct into ground.
Carrots – cheap to buy so try something different, yellow, purple or red.
Chard – use leaves as spinach, very easy to grow
Lettuce – sow little and often
Radishes – sow little and often.
Salad leaves and Rocket – rocket gives that salad a little kick.
Runner Beans Very strong and brilliantly priced canes are available in shop.
Spinach – a good variety is perpetual spinach.
Swede and Turnips – carry on sowing summer varieties.
Weed ruthlessly and water crops regularly
Net peas, cabbages and fruit bushes and build supports for climbing plants
Feed tomatoes as soon as the first tiny fruits appear on the plants
Keep a careful watch for pests and act accordingly to protect your crop
Aubergines – plant out by the end of this month to give them as much time as possible to grow and ripen into good sized fruit.
Brussel Sprouts & cabbages – plant out sprouts and the last of your summer, autumn and red cabbages and the first of your winter cabbages. Net or you will find the pigeons having a picnic on your plot, they can disappear in minutes!
Cauliflowers – any seedlings sown in spring for harvesting in the summer and autumn should be planted out now
Celeriac – late June is probably your last chance to plant it out
Chillies and sweet peppers – harden off young plants and if the danger of frost has passed then plant them out.
Courgettes, marrows, pumpkins and squashes – these can all be planted out in June, allow plenty of space and keep them well watered and mulched. Sink a 3” pot into ground next to stem and put a few stones in to weight down. It gives you a point to water into which doesn’t splash the leaves and water goes straight to the roots.
Start picking strawberries and gooseberries
Continue to earth up potatoes – just in case
Thin out seedlings of beetroot, carrot and lettuce
Tomato plants can be planted out on your plot
Pinch out the growing points of peas which have flowered
It’s your last chance for planting runner bean seeds
Plant out leeks from your seed bed – plant out when pencil thick
Strong runners on strawberry plants should be chosen for propagation
Start digging up early potatoes (8-10 weeks after planting)
Net blackcurrant bushes
Asparagus – cut until the traditional time to stop harvesting which is June 21st
Artichokes – harvest and cook if you know how, or just leave them for the bees and butterflies Aubergine – remove growing tip from the main stem when 12″ tall.
Broad Bean – pinch out top 3″ of stems when pods appear to thwart aphids.
Chilli – feed every 2 weeks.
Courgettes – harden off before planting out.
Cucumber – pinch out growing point when it reaches the roof. Keep damp and feed every 2 weeks.
French Beans – tie in loosely.
Onions – remove plants that are flowering or at least cut flowers off.
Peas – keep well-watered. Net against hungry birds.
Pumpkins – harden off before planting out.
Rhubarb – continue harvesting sticks.
Sweetcorn – harden off. They are wind pollinated so need to be planted in blocks not lines.
Tomatoes – plant outdoor varieties in ground or growbag’s which are available at the shop. Feed every 14 days, pick off side-shoots between the main vertical stem and a leaf – see pinching out guide in Terminology section.