June is the month when the summer season really gets underway. Many of the vegetables you have grown from seed can now be planted out. The first potatoes are almost ready to lift and the herb garden is bursting with scent. Even in the smallest vegetable garden there is always plenty to do at this time of year. From pinching out the tips of runner beans to planting out tender vegetables like aubergines. So before you head out into your vegetable garden remind yourself of some of the more vital jobs that need to be done in the vegetable garden during the month of June.
Now is the time to transplant young plants of broccoli, Brussels sprout, summer cabbage, cauliflower, leeks and kale to their final positions in the vegetable garden. Tender seedlings of aubergine, courgette, tomato, pepper and squash can also now be planted outside. As tomato plants grow up make sure you tie them into supports to prevent them from flopping over. Keep planting seeds of salad crops such as lettuce and radish to ensure a constant supply.
If you grow fruit, June is the time to tie in new shoots on cane fruit such as raspberries, blackberries and loganberries. Make sure ripening fruit is covered with netting to protect it from hungry birds. Keep gooseberry bushes and strawberry plants well watered to encourage the fruit to swell. Thin out the fruit on apple and plum trees to reduce competition and encourage larger fruit.
Pinch out the growing tips of runner beans once they have reached the top of their supports and then mulch around each plant to help conserve moisture. Once the beans begin to appear pick them regularly to ensure they keep on producing. Also make sure onions and other crops are well watered, especially if the weather if dry. All your vegetable crops will need a regular feed now, especially tomatoes and those grown in grow bags or containers. If you grow asparagus, stop cutting stems at the end of the month and allow them to develop their fern tops.
Towards the end of the month some of your vegetable crops will be ready to harvest. Dig up the first early crops of potatoes, carrots and salad. Make the final pickings of rhubarb and remove the flowering stems that form right down to the base. Finally, sow seeds of herbs such as coriander, parsley and basil in garden planters and place them next to your greenhouse to provide a ready supply to accompany dishes of this year’s tasty vegetable crop.
Jo Poultney is a RHS qualified gardener who has recently set up a business selling garden planters and garden related gifts via a website.