Up until now we’ve been patient, we’ve been ever watchful of pests and frosts and now spring is over and summer is here! We’re halfway through the year and this is when I usually start to panic! There’s always loads I haven’t done, things I haven’t sown and the weeds are growing faster than everything else in the garden. This is the month to stay focused and let the effort you’ve put in over the previous months pay off.
In short – life in your garden is going to be ‘Crazy’ – so you better WERK! (when I’m not in the garden, RuPaul’s Drag Race is taking up too much of my life right now. Sorry)
Weeds and Hoes – Everything is growing quickly – and I mean EVERYTHING. Weeding should be part of your daily to-do list now. Depending on the size of area you’ve got to look after, a little bit everyday should be enough to keep things in order. Weeds fight your plants for nutrition, light and water – so pull those suckers out and take satisfaction in what you’re doing. Hoe regularly to keep the weeds at bay – hoeing also helps stop slug attacks, as they don’t like to slime their way across disturbed soil.
Last chance saloon – Suddenly from waiting for the weather to improve – we’re now in a race against time to make sure we don’t miss our sowing window. The soil should be warm enough everywhere now, except in the darkest, dampest corners of the garden. There are lots of seeds that can go straight in the ground this month including courgettes, runner beans and peas. You can now also plant out everything you’ve been bringing on in pots. Don’t forget to leave enough space for each plant to flourish – they always get bigger than you expect!
Harvest – If you’ve been working on the garden since the beginning of the year there should be loads of treasures for you to harvest now. There are too many to list here but you could be enjoying new potatoes, asparagus, onions and spinach. Don’t be afraid to harvest hard, a lot of plants will keep yielding the more they’re picked – just Google what you’ve got and read up about it. For example harvesting spinach regularly and keeping it well watered will help stop them from bolting and give you more tasty leaves for longer.
Start your own gardening calendar – This is the best piece of advice I have ever received. At this time of year I’m stressing about things I haven’t planted and mistakes I’ve made. Write everything down – every thought, every idea, every notion, because when the chaos of the summer months is over you can regroup in the winter, read about your thoughts and get planning for next year. I can’t count the amount of times I’ve missed the sowing window for crops I want to grow – if I’ve noted that disappointment I’ll be extra prepared next year. Gardening and planting is a continuing process. It’s so important not to get bogged down in defeat, every year you’ll get better, wiser and more confident. The rewards for perseverance are immeasurable. Today we’re having a spicy cucumber salad (not a euphemism) for lunch with every single ingredient grown by us and that’s a feeling you can’t buy.
So go for it! June is one of the funnest months to be a home grower and will really connect you to the joys of seasonal food. Work hard and you’ll be serving up some home-grown produce REALNESS – (again blame RuPaul) in no time.