June in the garden

Posted by: Katie

This month we are at the end of Spring and beginning of Summer. The longest day is on the 21st, so this means more daylight to encourage your plants to grow.

This is also the month when you can start to harvest seasonal goodies such as new potatoes, broad beans, and strawberries. Many other things will also be ready such as beetroot, onions, carrots and salads. Harvest chard and spinach leaves while they are still small and really tender. They are delicious just put in a saucepan with a knob of butter for a couple of minutes.

It is a good idea to put a layer of straw around your strawberry plants, this stops the fruit from getting dirty and helps to keep slugs and snails away from them.

The biggest job this month is weeding; get them while they are small and before they get chance to self-seed. Remember; don’t add perennial weeds to your compost heap, as they may still manage to spread. If we do get a dry spell, water well as beans etc. need plenty of water whilst they are producing fruit.

Brussel Sprouts, summer and autumn and red cabbages can all be planted out this month and fitting collars will deter cabbage root fly. Netting them as soon as they are planted will protect them from birds and cabbage white butterflies. http://www.flowerfarm.co.uk/Catalogue/Vegetable-plants/Outdoor-Planting/Brussels-Sprout

Tomatoes you have under cover should be starting to show the first tiny fruit; once you see these a weekly feed of high potash feed will help the plants.

This month you can also trim your herbs such as mint, sage, thyme and chives. Take off all old leaves to give fresh ones a chance to grow. If you wish to increase your stock you can also take soft wood cuttings of herbs such as Rosemary. http://www.flowerfarm.co.uk/Catalogue/Vegetable-plants/Outdoor-Planting/Herbs

There seem to be plenty of elderflowers around this year, so how about making some delicious Elderflower Cordial. Dissolve 1kg granulated sugar in a litre of boiling water. Add the juice of 2-3 large lemons and the zest from 1 lemon. Then add about 15 heads of elderflower. Give the heads a good shake to dislodge any insects. It is best to pick the flowers on a sunny morning when the perfume will be at its strongest. Leave to infuse for one or two days, then strain through muslin and put into bottles, and your cordial is ready to use.

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