by Derek Kirk –
As it is early June you can now safely sow runner beans outdoors, 8” apart with 10” between rows, leaving 4’ – 5’ alleyway between rows. Plant melons and cucumbers in cold frames; spray raspberries and loganberries for cane spot with a lime sulphur wash. Pick a few green gooseberries to thin them out – this will give the rest a chance to mature fully.
Plant out bedding plants and half-hardy annuals; plant window boxes and hanging baskets. You can sow marrows and cucumbers outdoors where they will fruit. Sow seeds in pairs 3’ apart. Plant out French beans raised in the greenhouse last month when hardened off. Spray apple trees against scab and sawfly with a lime sulphur wash. Thin out rasp-berry canes if there are more than 6 per plant. Continue to feed plants that are in full growth: vegetables and herbaceous plants will benefit from 1 or 2 applications of a liquid feed. Make more successional sowings of lettuce, radish, endive, mustard, cress and turnips. Plant winter greens, brussel sprouts, broccoli, kale and savoy cabbage 2’ apart and firm the ground well. Pinch out tops of broad beans as this helps to set the beans and may help to prevent black fly. Plant out celery in the trench you prepared last month and water well. Sow a last sowing of shorthorn carrots and parsley. Draw a little of the soil away from the shallots to expose them to the sun to help them ripen. Start to thin out apples and pears. Prune shrubs that flowered late April , May and early June.
As we move into July, cut off faded flowers and take cuttings of shrubs and alpines. Continue to spray against all pests: caterpillars, red spider, thrips and greenfly. If the weather is hot remove the grass box from the lawnmower – the cuttings will form a mulch and help protect the grass roots. Lift tulips and hyacinths and store in shallow boxes in a light, airy place. Spray potatoes with Bordeaux mixture against blight. Set out later celery and start to earth up the celery that was set earlier. Mulch runner beans and spray in the evenings with a fine mist of tepid water. Start picking herbs to store for winter use. Layer strawberry runners to give some new plants next year. It’s time to make first sowing of spring cabbage.