Ah June – the month of the longest day and daylight. Working outdoors is a joy in June especially when there are harvests to look forward while you are tending to the plants that will give you harvests later in summer.
At Marshalls we’ve gleaned lots of ideas from the recent flower shows which we hope to highlight in this newsletter. Irrigation is a hot topic this season for home growers as is maximising on crops that suit our variable UK climate.
Tried multi-cropping? This is a wise use of space, growing more than one variety in one area. For instance, beetroot and carrots are ideal for sowing together in June. At Marshalls headquarters we harvest the leaves of beetroot while we’re waiting for the carrots to reach maturity.
The Marshalls Team
Our top three jobs for the month
Enjoy that lovely scent of tomato plants while you tend to them as they grow and start producing flowering stems and vines. Pinch out the side shoots that crop up in between the main stems and the side stems. Simply pinch them out. Start feeding with tomato food (high in potash) once the first flowering vines appear. Good tomato food will tell you the dosage on the back of the bottle.
Keep mounding up soil around the bottom of potato plants to keep the tubers buried under the soil surface. Pile up the soil to around a third to a half of the height. Potatoes are ready for you to harvest when the leaves start to yellow. Cut the stems and leaves off and come back in about a week to dig up your edible treasure.
Treat patio fruit trees with a top-dress of fresh compost. John Innes No 3 or Organic Farm Manure will do the trick nicely. Don’t be perturbed if apples are falling off your trees. They naturally shed a small proportion of immature fruit off the tree (known as the June drop) to give the remaining fruit space, air and light to continue to grow and ripen.
From cracking down on pests to getting children involved with veg-growing, we have many jobs for June for you to participate in. See our complete list of jobs for June.
Sweetcorn continues to be a bit hit among home-growers for their ease of growing and rewarding cobs of delicious sweetcorn ready in high summer. We recommend you grow individual plants 30cm (12in) apart in blocks for the likeliest fruiting of the female flowers.
Give the plants a daily tap to encourage the male pollen at the plant tips to fall onto the female flowers lower on the plants and promote cob-set.
Here are our top three recommended varieties for your plot:
Sweetcorn Honeydew Improved F1 - For intense sweetness
Sweetcorn Mini Pop F1 - Maizes perfect for stir-fries
Sweetcorn Lark F1 - Recognised by the RHS
Give your gardening hands a well earned rest and make this delicious corn chowder. With only a few simple ingredients needed, in just moments, you can be enjoying this tasty and healthy meal.
1 tablespoon of butter
3 tablespoons of salt
½ teaspoon of black pepper
1 teaspoon thyme leaves
2 medium potatoes
1.05ml milk (full/semi-skimmed to suit)
1 rasher of streaky/back bacon
½ red pepper
½ carrot (chopped)
½ stick celery
3 cob hearts of sweetcorn (kernels removed) chopped into 10cm(4in) sections (Keep the kernels for the last part of the recipe)
1 bay leaf
Fry bacon into butter for three to four minutes until bacon fat and butter reduces.
Add the pepper, carrot, celery and onions for around five minutes, until softened.
Add cob hearts, milk and bay leaf and bring to the boil. Place lid over pan and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent milk sticking to pan base.
After 20 minutes add salt, thyme and potatoes to the mix. Bring to the boil again and simmer for a further 10 minutes.
Discard bay leaf, bacon rasher, and cob hearts (using a strainer). Add the kernels and black pepper. Bring to the boil and simmer for five minutes a final time.
Add further salt and pepper to taste.
Make glasshouse whitefly do a disappearing act.
These ghostly aphids are rife in summer particularly in greenhouses where they suck sap from leaves like tomatoes and peppers. As they suck the sap of your plants they excrete a sweet honeydew which attracts sooty mould, stopping your leaves from photosynthesising properly, affecting the quality of your crops.
Resolva Natural Power Bug & Mildew Spray (1 litre) is a ready-to-use spray based on the physical action of soapy surfactants, which means you can spray and eat crops on the same day. Spray gun has unique non-drip trigger and added plant wash for shiny leaves.
Alternatively hang up sticky traps around the greenhouse if you would rather avoid spraying.
June catalogue coming soon
Look forward to the summer-time catalogue all about the tools and accessories perfect for making your home-growing easier and even more enjoyable.
It’s our go-to guide for all that you need whether you’re looking to water or mist your plants more efficiently, potting on into soil or keeping garden pests at bay so you can enjoy your well-deserved harvests for you and your household.