Cut a thistle in May, he’ll be there next day,

Cut a thistle in June, he’ll come again soon,

Cut him in July and he’s sure to die!

BBC Radio Leeds gardening expert Graham Porter said recently that we are having very strange weather patterns. Well, I would concur with that.

Flaming June has not lived up to its name this year. Warm and hot days all have an effect on flowering. And, more essentially, cold nights and cold winds have all added to the strange effect.

Covering the potatoes over with a layer of horticultural fleece in May kept much of the cool wind off, keeping them warm, but allowed the rain to penetrate through to the roots. This has produced a good and earlier crop.

Brassicas – cabbage, cauliflower etc – will get white fly. (Where do these critters come from?) A sure way to prevent damage is to cover the whole Brassicas bed with a product called ‘Enviromesh.’

This is a very fine weave net which the pests can’t penetrate. A framework can be made of canes to support the product, which will also keep at bay cabbage root fly, carrot fly, leaf miners and a few other pests that want to eat your crops.

Another weapon to use against white fly are the large yellow sticky traps. Place these on sticks in between the Brassicas.

These can be useful If the plants already have a bad attack, simply shake the plants and the white fly will fly off straight onto the bright yellow traps. A few shakes every day on passing gives good control of this pesky nuisance.

Alliums are very showy right now

July can be a very dry month so continue watering ‘little and often’ if dry. It will soon be time to start harvesting French/broad and runner beans. Continue succession sowing of salad crops.

Feeding is key in the greenhouse especially cucumbers who are ‘gross’ feeders. Tomatoes should be well set with fruit and good high phosphate tomato feed will encourage fruit growth including ripening.

Problems such as blossom end rot and splitting of the fruit are brought on by intermittent watering – so don’t let them go dry at the roots, but don’t also over water!

READ MORE: Catch up with Gordon the Gardener’s monthly blogs HERE

Top tip if growing onions do not feed from now on and keep the planting area clean to encourage bulbing.

Flowering plants of all kind benefit from regular dead heading to keep them flowering. Keep feeding a general liquid feed to window boxes and hanging baskets. Dead heading and feeding will bring rich rewards. Lawns can also be given a dry lawn feed, just before rain is due is a good time for this.

A good plant to grow is alliums they can be had in all manner of sizes. They are in flower at the moment they are very showy.

When day,
expiring in the west,

The curtain
draws of Nature’s rest;

He flies to
her arms he lo’es the best,

The Gardener wi’ his paidle.

Robert Burns