June 21 is the longest day of the year, and the extra light and warmth encourages the garden to put on an exuberant burst of growth. But this extra light and warmth also means weeds will sprout up from seemingly nowhere. Keep on top of them by hoeing regularly in dry conditions. There is a lot to do in June but the rewards for our efforts are coming in the harvest.
June is the last month for sowing many crops as we pass the longest day: -
French and Runner Beans
It’s time to plant out.
Tops Jobs for June
Hoe regularly to keep weeds down
Be water-wise, especially in drought-affected areas
Pinch out sideshoots on tomatoes
Harvest lettuce, radish, other salads and early potatoes
Shade greenhouses to keep them cool and prevent scorch
Cultivation, Pests & Problems
Watch out for slugs & snails.
The butterflies are about now as well. Beautiful as they are, check the undersides of your brassica leaves for the yellow or white eggs that will hatch into caterpillars and devastate the plant. You can squash them, wipe or wash them off easily at this stage.
If we do get a prolonged dry spell, don’t forget that that fruit bushes and trees need watering. Swelling apples and currants need water as much as leafy vegetables. Once again, give a good soaking rather than little sprinkles that encourage surface rooting.
In June apples have the “June Drop” where the tree drops excess fruit. After this it is worth thinning out if the branches are still overcrowded.
Tie in blackberry canes as they grow and check netting, fruit cages etc have no access for the birds.
When you’ve had the last rhubarb, give them a good feed by mulching with well-rotted manure mixed with compost or an artificial like grow more to enable them to build strength for next year.
In the Greenhouse / Polytunnel
Keep pinching off the side shoots with your tomatoes and keep an eye out for pests such as aphids, whitefly, red spider mite. If you are subject to attack by these pests it is worth checking out biological controls as these are perfectly safe to use and, used correctly, more effective than traditional chemical controls.