June has arrived in fine style, hot and dry, great for the tan, not so good for plants. They will need good watering every week or so, more often for shallow rooting plants like salad veg, tomatoes. Also this year the soft fruit is suffering from lack of rain, so water them often to swell the fruit. Whilst it is a good time to continue planting runnier beans and peas, the difficulty is obtaining the plants (almost impossible this year) so sow seed. One can still start off courgettes and pumpkins outdoors and of course, keep sowing a few seeds of most vegetables. In fact, late June/early July is the time to start off the brassicas family, they will be ready late November and Xmas with a little care. Sow in pots or modules, not in a seed bed as all brassicas hate root disturbance, sow a few of Brussels, cabbages, broccoli and such like, the seed will keep for many years anyway.
Short on tomatoes? You can plant up the side shoots when about 4in. you will not get a bumper crop from them, but most will give some results.
Bee keepers look upon June as “June gap”, as there are few flowers in bloom, but you can bolster the plants with a little weak fertiliser to help them along. Keep deheading those plants that do flower. Remove all but one fruit on apples pears etc. to get really large and good keeping produce. Prune Wisteria back to 12 in. from stem, this forces the plant to think about flower buds for next year and stops it invading the loft!
Now is a good time to lift and store spring bulbs, but only keep the largest ones. Hopefully by autumn one will be able to shop more easily and buy new stock.
This year the red Lilly Beetle has been a real menace. Since the EU banned the only reliable killer, the bug has all but exterminated outdoor lilies. The only way is to squash all beetles and grubs. These are the black blobs of faeces that contain the grub and must be got rid of as above. Mainly found under what’s left of the leaves or in the leaf joints. Check twice daily and when catching the beetles put your hand under them as they will fall off onto their backs at the slightest touch.
Oh, I can just taste those raspberries. (and cream.)
Bye for now,