By Gordon the Gardener
Flamin’ June lived up to its name this year but not in every respect. Warm and hot days were not for the most part, followed by warm balmy evenings.
The April frosts followed by a cool, dull and wet May have all had the effect of delaying flowering.
The early July heavy rain, thunder and lightning will all have a beneficial effect on growth and flowering.
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 brassica 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 nasties that want to eat your crops.
Another weapon to use against white fly are the large yellow sticky traps. These are placed 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 a pesky nuisance.
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!
Top Tip: if growing onions do not feed from now on and keep the planting area clean to encourage bulbing.
Flowering plants of all kinds 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.
And remember our gardens are for pleasure. So do have BBQ and enjoy the summer.