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This entry taken from the June Dalgety Bay Diary.

June is a lovely month in the garden. The mad rush to get everything planted has passed, and all the plants are growing well. N
ow is the time to tend yourplants, to really look after them, water them if the weather is dry, ensure pests are kept at bay, and keep the weeds down. June is also the month where youstart to harvest some of your lovely fresh vegetables, such as broad beans, salad, baby carrots and beetroot!

The Vegetable Patch in June

Start picking -Broad beans will be ready this month. Pick them whilethey are still small and tender. Crunchy young carrots can be pulledup, thinning your crop for larger carrots later in the year. Salad crops and peas will also be ready.

Weed regularly -Like your vegetables, the weeds are in full growthnow. Regular hoeing between rows will keep them down. Pick outweeds around your vegetable plants carefully so as not to disturb the roots of your veg. If your patch has been well dug then the weedsnormally come up pretty easily.

Provide support for beans and peas -
Runner beans may need a bitof help to start climbing. Just twist them around the poles to get themstarted. Provide twigs and sticks for peas to hold onto. Tie in anyother plants that need supporting, such as tomatoes.

Water regularly -
Vegetables need plenty of water in order to grow. Ifthe weather is dry, water frequently. The best time to do this is eitherearly in the morning or later in the evening when there will be less evaporation.

Start feeding tomato plants and other container-grown vegetables -
Once the first flowers have set on the tomatoes, start feeding once aweek with a high potash liquid tomato feed. I have used both Tomorite and Phostrogen plant food with good success. Other plants such assweet peppers, chillies, cucumbers and all vegetables grown incontainers or grow bags will all benefit from regular feeding.

Sow/plant out winter brassicas -Sow kale, calabrese, purple sprouting broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower for use over winter and early next year. They can either besown under cover or in an outside seed bed, before being transplanted to their finalposition later in the year.

Wage war on pests -
This is a time when pests suddenly become more apparent. Itis easy to spot blackfly on broad bean, French bean and runner bean plants. Squish them between your fingers or spray with horticultural soap. Ants running up anddown your plants is a tell-tale sign that there are aphids about. Pests like weedstoo, so make sure you weed regularly and thoroughly.

Sow successional crops -
Towards the end of the month, sow another batch ofFrench beans, peas, runner beans and courgette to plant out later in the summeras space becomes available. This will maximise your growing season, and meanyou will be harvesting into October!

Plant all greenhouse crops -
Crops to be grown in the greenhouse should be intheir final positions by now, either planted in the ground, large pots or grow-bags.These include tomatoes, cucumber, sweet pepper (capsicum), chillies andaubergines.

Plant out frost sensitive crops -
All frosts should have passed by now, so plant outall tender crops that you have raised under cover, such as cucumbers, sweetcorn,French and runner beans.

Stop harvesting your asparagus by the longest day -
Once we’ve reached thelongest day, stop cutting your asparagus and leave the spears to develop into tallferny growth. Fertilize once you have stopped harvesting.

The Fruit Garden in June

Protect strawberries from birds
Birds will eat your strawberriesbefore they are fully ripe! Use netting or horticultural fleece to protectthem. Squirrels also like strawberries and will chew through netting,so use fleece which hides the ripening strawberries if they are frequentvisitors to your garden.

Protect cherries from birds and rain -
As your cherries start to ripen,protect them from rain and birds. Rain on the fruit can cause theskins to split, so protect using polythene covers suspended abovethe tree.

Propagate your own strawberries -
Propagate gate new plants from the runners put out by the main plants. Peg down the small plants at the end of the runners intosome potting compost, and leave until the roots are established before cutting fromthe main plant. This is a good way to increase your plants and provide replacementsfor older ones.

Support raspberry canes -
As your raspberry canes grow, depending on the supportsystem you are using, tie them to your wires, or ensure they are growing up throughyour wires. Pull up any suckers that appear between rows.Water all soft fruit regularly, especially blueberries and cranberries - All soft fruit requires plenty of water to ensure good cropping, especially if they aregrown in containers. Blueberries and cranberries, in particular, are very thirsty plants and should be watered regularly with rain water.

Other Gardeing Jobs in June

Keep your lawn well mown -
Regular mowing of your lawn will keepthe grass in great shape. Don’t cut it too short or you’ll end up withbrown patches when the weather is dry. June is a good month for topdressing and fertilizing your lawn as the grass will be in full growth.

Most of all... Enjoy your garden - June is a wonderful month. The days are longand the weather is warm. Sit in the sunshine with your favourite drink to hand, andenjoy all your hard work!

Michael Gourlay Chairman

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