June on the allotment is the when all the hard work of the past few months really starts to show rewards. Early crops should be in full production, main crop varieties will be growing away steadily and all the cloches and rolls of fleece can be removed as the damaging frost should be a think of the past.
As the days get warmer and the dry hot periods become more frequent* supplying the growing plants with sufficient water can be a problem on an allotment. Good soil preparation is always the key, but in longer dry spells even the best cultivated ground can start to dry out.
Plants that are under stress form drought quite often run to seed early or produce very poor crops. If it becomes necessary to give the plants additional water, do this in the cool of the evening, take the rose off the watering can and pool the water around the individual plants, then lightly cover the watered area with dry soil to prevent evaporation.
My preferred way is to mulch. Plan slightly ahead and have well rotted garden compost or straw to hand and place this around the plants after the ground has had a good soaking by the rain. This method not only conserves the moisture in the soil but also suppresses a lot of weeds that would normally appear.
Ventilation is key to keeping the plants growing and cropping well. Open widows and doors when ever possible. This will keep the temperature down and allow good air circulation.
Watering should be done early in the morning and/or in the evening so the plants get the maximum benefit. Water around the base of the plants not over the foliage as this scorches the leaves in strong sun light.
Feed the plants once they show the first signs of fruiting,a high potash based fertilizer (tomato food) is ideal for most green house crops. Follow the manufactures directions as giving to much potash can be detrimental to the plants growing and cropping ability.
Regularly side shoot Tomatoes and train or tie in climbing plants such as Cucumbers and Melons.
Frequently inspect plants for greenhouse pests such as Greenfly,White-fly etc and deal with them a.s.a.p, it is amazing how they soon multiply into plague proportions.
Tender vegetables such as tomatoes, Aubergines and Cucumbers can be planted out now the last of the frost have gone. water the plants in after planting to settle the soil around their roots.
Sweet corn raised in pots can be put out, plant in block formation as they are wind pollinated.
Check any nets that are protecting your brassicas from pests for gaps,so that its you that enjoys the harvest not the rabbits/pigeons.
Continue to sow quick growing salad crops every few weeks for a continuous supply. Utilise the space between slower growing veg to maximise the grounds productive area.
- French and Runner beans
- main crop Peas
- Lettuce/salad leaves
- main crop Carrots
Protect Strawberry fruits from birds with nets, peg down any runners that are wanted for extra plants next year, removing the remainder.
Thin the side shoots on trained fruits and tie in any that are needed.
The new canes of Blackberry and Hybrid Berry bushes needs to be tied in.
Thin out the fruits of Apples and Pears to allow the remaining fruits to develop to their full potential.
* Wishful thinking 🙂