Guide written by:
John, Passionate gardener, Cambridge
Here are a few seeds you can sow at the start of June:
Early carrots can be harvested at the end of summer while other varieties can be picked in the autumn. Chicory, cress, spinach, green beans and white beans can be sown in rows or clusters. Sow green beans once every couple of weeks, but don't go overboard unless you want to lay down stocks for winter. If you only want fresh green beans, a stretch of 1.5 metres per person will do.
Cut-and-come-again and summer lettuces don't germinate very well when the weather is too warm. More robust varieties, such as Batavia, can be sown as they don't tend to go to seed as quickly. That said, be sure to keep your seeds in the shade. You can help to keep them moist using damp newspaper or cardboard.
Turnips, parsnips and radishes can also be sown. Sow once every 15 days for a staggered harvest.
June is your last chance to do any transplanting or large-scale vegetable planting. Celery, celeriac, chicory, cabbages (including sprouts, cauliflowers and broccoli), lettuce, early and late chard should all be planted out without delay. Now is also the time to plant out less hardy summer fruits and vegetables like tomatoes, aubergines, peppers, cucumbers, courgettes, squashes and melons.
June is also a great time to get a herb garden going in a corner of the garden. Things like basil, parsley, mint and coriander can all go in the ground but if possible plant under cold frames to prevent water loss. Otherwise, keep your plants in the shade and water generously.
If the weather is good, you have a few other options – particularly in the south of the country. Plant sweet potatoes at the beginning of the month and the trusty tubers will be ready to dig up in September or October. Sow fennel for an autumn crop but bear in mind that very hot weather tends to make it go to seed early. Mulching around the base of the plant can help to keep it cool. Paracress can be sown directly into damp soil; the leaves and young flowers of this unusual plant work well in salads.
Looking for a unique addition to your vegetable patch? Why not try orach? This spinach-like plant looks great and can go in your vegetable garden any time from spring to summer. At the start of the month you can also plant yacón. These exotic tubers store very well over the winter and can be eaten raw or cooked. If you have lime-free soil, you can also sow Miner's lettuce. You can collect the leaves from this pretty salad crop as you need them throughout the summer and even into the autumn. The leaves can be cooked or added raw to salads.
Another interesting option is glacier lettuce. This highly unusual plant can be harvested two months after sowing. It has slightly sharp-tasting leaves which are fantastic in salads while the leafy stems are delicious cooked.
Guide written by:
John, Passionate gardener, Cambridge, 83 guides
When I was young, I was already working in the family garden. Perhaps that is where my interest in plants and gardening came from. So, it was logical for me to study both plant biology and agronomy. At the request of various publishers I have, over twenty-five years, written many books on the subject of plants and mushrooms (a subject that is close to my heart).They were mostly identification guides at first, but shortly after they were about gardening, thus renewing the first passion of my childhood. I have also regularly collaborated with several magazines specializing in the field of gardening or more generally in nature. There is no gardener without a garden, I have cultivated mine in a small corner of Cambridge for the last thirty years and this is where I put into practice the methods of cultivation that will I advise you in as well.