Pippa Greenwood: Haxnicks gardening Tips for June•
Posted on 7 June 2021
Haxnicks Gardening Tips for June
Veg and flowers are really enjoying the fact that it is feeling like summer may be coming at last. Growth is strong! The only problem is, as well as quick growing vegetables, weeds seem to grow even more strongly.
Weed competition - for water, nutrients and light – can be pretty stifling, especially if you’re a small, recently-planted out garden plant. So, whether you are growing vegetables in raised beds or vegetable grow bags or even flowers in a border, grab a hoe and start decapitating those annual weeds. An early start means you can catch them before they swamp your garden plants and before they have chance to set seed too.
Weeding is one of those gardening maintenance jobs that just has to be done. I choose a warm day and use my trusty Speedhoe as its cleverly shaped and angled head means that it is great for getting the weeds hoed between plants and not hoeing the garden plants by mistake. You don't even need to pick the weeds up after hoeing. Left on the soil surface in the sun, the weeds die off quickly.
Now it is time to put serious thought into protection for plants. There are lots of things out there that would like to eat them!
Whitefly can be a real menace in greenhouses and frames. They ar e the one thing that makes the even the easiest vegetables to grow, a little harder! Whitefly are just starting to appear more widely now that the weather is warmer. These little sap-feeding pests look rather like tiny white moths and if you’ve let their numbers build up you may see a small cloud of them rise up as you disturb a plant. Their feeding weakens the plant and their sticky excreta (commonly known as honeydew) lands on plants and surfaces, soon attracting black sooty mould fungi. These black fungi are harmless to the plant but look awful and don’t exactly make any crops they cover look appetising! Sometimes the whitefly may also spread virus infections and the consequences can be even more serious.
Try introducing miniature wasps called Encarsia formosa into infestations in greenhouses, frames and conservatories. These seek out the young stages of the whitefly and parasitise them. Each then dies, so no new whitefly will hatch. Brilliant control, no chemical residues AND perfectly safe for humans, wildlife and pets!
Slugs & Snails
Strawberries are starting to ripen this month so make sure you keep a watch for invaders. I use nematodes for protecting strawberry plants from slugs and snails. By applying them just before the fruits start to ripen you can avoid most of the potential slug damage. Make sure you keep the soil or compost just moist after application, so that the nematodes can continue to move around and seek out the slugs.
You can find out more and purchase the biocontrols here.
Birds & pesky squirrels
If you find the birds (or squirrels) are getting more of the crop than you, then you could also try covering the rows with green Easy Net Tunnels. I find that these let through plenty of light for good ripening but as the plants and the nearly-red fruits are masked from view, many furry and feathered critters simply don’t realise they are there. The tunnels are so easy to install and to re-install after weeding or harvesting too. And if you are wondering how to protect plants from a heat wave (!) these will help here too as they are the only tunnels on the market with shade netting.
Just make sure that you don’t totally seal out pollinators. Either wait until most of the flowers have already been pollinated to fit your tunnel. Or open the toggle ends during the day to allow them in.
So these are my gardening tips for June - I hope you are really enjoying your garden now that the weather is finally doing what it is supposed to for the time of year!
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