P and A Gardening diary

June, Summer is upon us...

RECENTLY I came across a poem about June, which began "In June, as many as a dozen species may burst their buds on a single day…” After all the hard work that we gardeners have expended preparing, sowing and planting during the Spring months of March, April and May, June is the time when we really see the fruits of our labours. The vegetable gardens are becoming increasingly bountiful, creating great expectation for the late Summer and early Autumn, the fruit trees are starting to blossom strongly and the bedding plants are slowly but surely establishing themselves for the Summer.
After some indifferent temperatures during May, the sun has shone quite brightly in June (let’s forget about all of the wind!) and it’s getting a tad hotter. So even in the early morning, it’s possible to don the shirtsleeves and shorts – not forgetting the suntan lotion – and tend to the garden.
During the Summer, water is particularly precious and it’s important to collect and retain as much rainwater as you possibly can. There are a huge range of water butts on the market and we are able to supply you with products whether you are looking for a 250L tank or a smaller variety such as 100L. In France, these type of butts are called récupérateurs d'eau which strikes me as a nicer word to use than butt...  If you have a large garden, and a budget to match, think about locating water butts in different areas (obviously you will need a shed or outbuilding to provide the roof covering and guttering to collect the water). These will save you time as well as money in the long run.
Generally speaking, the more established fruit crops (the blackcurrants are beginning to look especially good this year) will not need watering unless we do experience a long, hot and prolonged dry spell; but the crops that you are growing in your raised beds, polytunnel or greenhouse will need attention from time-to-time depending on the type of plant. For example, tomato plants will need regular watering as well as the occasional feed. With vegetables, the rule is try to keep the soil evenly moist and if you can achieve that, you won’t go far wrong.
Enjoy the rest of the month.