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WAHGA Jobs for June

Updated: Jun 2


May, like March and April, was very wet and mild with very few days of frost but also very few of sunshine.   Slugs and snails have made the most of the conditions and have been one of the few things harvestable in the veg garden! See tried and tested hints and tips for slug and snall management at the bottom of this article. 


So what will June bring us?  


WATERING

Nature has done more than enough watering so far, but when the weather warms up, it’s best to water early morning or in the evening to reduce the effects of evaporation.   Water close to the ground and not on the foliage.  Use the watering can rose on seeds and seedlings and spout of a can, for everything else.  


WEEDING

Weeds are a huge issue this year due to the wet, mild conditions.  Try to keep on top of the weeds to reduce competition for water, nutrients and light. Hoe in dry weather and leave the weeds to ‘frazzle’ on the soil surface.


SOWING & PLANTING

  • June is the sowing month for dwarf French beans, beetroot, lettuce, purple sprouting broccoli,  cauliflower, kale, savoy cabbage.

  • Sow carrots, radishes, spring onions, mange tout and beetroot direct every few weeks for a supply all through the growing season.  see Successional Sowing

  • Inter-sow carrots between lettuce to make the most of space and water.

  • If you still have unplanted seedlings get them in the ground as soon as you can.  


HARVEST

  • Continue to harvest rhubarb, and watch out for any flower buds, break these off to prevent the plant putting energy into flowering.

  • Strawberries are just coming through, keep picking to encourage further cropping, remove foliage to aid ripening and reduce hiding places for slugs.

  • The first radishes and baby carrots will be ready, and continue to sow every couple of weeks through to autumn.  

  • Salad crops: salad leaves, pea shoots will be ready

  • Edible Flowers: borage and marigold

  • Leafy greens: chard and spinach

  • Pick broad beans 


OTHER

Compost all green matter, add foliage, leaves and annual weeds to your compost pile, turn the pile to help activate it, and make sure it doesn’t dry out.  Comfrey and nettles not only make a good nutritious ‘tea’ for plants, they also act as compost accelerator.


IN THE GARDEN

It’s the perfect time to plant herbaceous perennials, to give summer and autumn colour.   Small shrubs  will establish quickly, and will need less watering than larger versions.   


Plant up your pots and hanging baskets for summer colour,   Some herbaceous perennials have put on a lot of green growth due to all the rain, and it’s a good time to give them the  ‘Chelsea Chop’.  This will delay flowering a bit, but will encourage more compact growth with more flowers.  Give a feed high in potash to encourage flowering.


WILDLIFE

It’s not too late to sow wild flower seeds around your shed, in your front garden, and ‘wild’ areas of your garden.  Stacks of logs at the back of the beds and borders, leaf piles, and a small pond are additions to your garden that are good for wildlife including newts, toads and frogs, insects, birds and small mammals.  And don’t forget about bird houses, bat boxes and bug hotels!


We are well into nesting season so watch out for activity in trees and hedges near you and don’t disturb.  Avoid using pesticides as birds are feeding aphids and caterpillars to their babies.  And don’t forget that caterpillars turn into our beloved butterflies!


Leave water dishes out for the bees and the birds. 


SLUG & SNAIL MANAGEMENT

  • Encourage natural predators

  • Remove daytime hiding places

  • Divert them from plants with grapefruit peel - remove the slugs and snails

  • Go on a night-time snail and slug hunt at dusk/night with a torch.  Handpick them and remove from the area.

  • Entice slugs into beer traps 

  • A home-made garlic spray. Allicin is a defence compound created by garlic bulbs which both repels and kills slugs and snails.  To harness this, simply put a bulb of garlic in a litre of water and blitz it in a food processor and leave to stand for 10 minutes for the chemical reaction that creates allicin to work.  Alternatively you can boil 2 cloves of crushed garlic in 2 litres of water.  Strain off the solids and pour the liquid into a bottle, store in the fridge.   When ready to use, dilute two tablespoons of the mixture in a 10 litre watering can of water and then water it over your plants using the rose.  

  • Alternatively spraying your plants with Grazers G2 Slug & Snail Deterrent will help protect them from being damaged by these common garden pests.

  • Wheat Bran and oats. Surround plants with wheat bran or oats, slugs and snails love to eat it, but it causes desiccation and death. It’s totally organic and if wildlife eat the corpses they are unharmed. Though the bran/oats need to be replenished regularly, particularly in wet weather, it is readily available and cheap.

  • Apply nematodes (Nemaslug is a well-known brand).  These work well on slugs but not snails

  • Protect plants with  barrier methods including shells (try Shell on Earth ), crushed eggshells, sheep’s wool (try Chimney Sheep), horticultural grit, copper mesh 

  • Last resort - organic slug pellets - but very sparingly. The usual dose is 3.8g - 5g per metre square.  This is about a teaspoon full per square metre.  The slug pellets are not a barrier method so there is no need to surround each plant with a large number of pellets, this only increases the risk that a fox, hedgehog, mouse or other small mammal might eat toxic quantities. Rather, thinly sprinkle the recommended dose over the area. Ideally the slug should eat the pellet before it reaches the plant.


OTHER PESTS AND DISEASES

  •  Protect strawberries and peas from birds with netting that is wide enough to allow pollinators in. 

  • All brassicas need fine netting, to protect them from cabbage white butterflies, and pigeons which will eat brassicas to  ground level. 

  • Cover soft fruit plants with netting to protect from birds - this can be done after pollination but before any signs of ripening.  Summer fruiting raspberries need netting, but autumn fruiting don’t.

  • Watch out for signs of powdery mildew or disease on fruit trees and bushes.  The best way to avoid this is to prune well in the dormant season to ensure good air flow through the plant.


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