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Summer
Jobs & Growing Guide

Maximize your summer garden with essential tips for successful fruit and vegetable cultivation in the UK. From sun-loving varieties to watering strategies, elevate your summer growing season for a bountiful harvest.

June

Sowing & Planting

Veg:

- Continue sowing salad crops, such as beetroot, lettuce, pak choi and radish. Leafy salad crops may do better when sown in partially shady sites since hot dry weather can lead to bitter tasting leaves.

- Sow French, runner and broad beans, peas, squash, sweetcorn, and outdoor cucumbers directly into prepared beds outside.

- French beans are best sown in rows, 45cm (18in) apart, at 15-22cm (6-9in) spacing.

- Runner beans need well-prepared ground and suitable supports (often a frame or wigwam of bamboo canes tied together with twine) for the shoots to twine around and grow upwards.

- Courgettes, marrows and pumpkins can still be sown outdoors in early June in southern districts.

- Although most winter brassicas need to be sown earlier in the season, calabrese, turnips and kohlrabi can be sown now for an autumn crop.

- Celeriac and celery can be planted out early this month. A well-prepared site with lots of organic matter dug in is essential.

- Outdoor ridge cucumbers can be planted out early this month. They benefit from a site that has been enriched with lots of organic matter to help retain water.

- Plant vegetables sown indoors earlier in the season, including winter brassicas and sweet peppers. - Peppers can only be planted out when all risk of frost has passed, and ideally beneath cloches.

- Gaps between winter brassica plants can be used for quick-maturing catch crops, perhaps radishes or gem lettuces.

- Plant out artichokes that were previously sown under cover. They can be grown as perennials (in which case they need 90cm spacing), or as biennials (45cm spacing is sufficient).

Problems 

Veg:

- Pinching out the top of broad beans once the lowest flowers have set will help prevent aphid attack.

- Look out for flea beetles on brassicas.

- Ward off carrot fly by covering plants with a fine woven plastic mesh like Enviromesh.

- Slugs pose a threat, especially to newly-planted seedlings and slug controls are necessary now.

- Pick yellowing leaves off brassicas promptly to prevent spread of grey mould and brassica downy mildew.

 

- Damping off of seedlings can be a problem both outside and in containers.

 

- Deal with red spider mite, whitefly, codling moth and plum moth and raspberry beetle.

 

- Look out for shothole on tree fruit, especially stone fruit – a sign of possible disease infection.

 

- Start treating potatoes and tomatoes against blight.

General Care

Fruit:

- Peg down strawberry runners and remove cloches from outdoor strawberries once cropped.

- Water blueberries, cranberries and lingonberries regularly with rainwater.

- Water and feed indoor melons daily once they are established and plant into growing-bags in a heated greenhouse.

- Avoid using insecticides on crops when they are in flower.

- Make sure fruit isn’t drought stressed, especially in containers, against a wall or newly planted.

- Continue training fan-trained trees. - Pull off suckers appearing around the base of fruit trees.

- Train in new shoots of blackberries and hybrid berries.

- Summer prune red and white currants and gooseberries.

- Shorten newly planted raspberry canes once new shoots are produced.

 

Veg:

- Peas need staking with pea sticks, netting or pruned garden twigs.

- Continue to earth up maincrop potatoes.

- Water tomatoes and peppers regularly to prevent blossom end rot – a symptom of calcium deficiency due to erratic water supply.

July

Sowing & Planting

Veg:

 

- Sow spring cabbage, turnips, Oriental vegetables, chicory, fennel, and autumn/winter salads.

 

- Carrots can still be sown, but beware of carrot fly when thinning existing seedlings.

 

- Last chance to sow French beans and runner beans (south of England only).

 

- Plant out leeks and brassicas for a winter supply, if not yet done.

Problems 

- Check plants regularly for aphids.

 

- Watch out for potato blight and tomato blight.

 

- Look out for asparagus beetle.

 

- Keep an early eye out for the sunken brown patches of blossom end rot on tomatoes.

 

- Deal with woolly aphid, plum rust, pear leaf blister mite and pear rust.

General Care

Fruit:

- Check tree ties as tree trunk girth increases.

- Water cranberries, lingonberries and blueberries regularly with rainwater. Tap water will do when butts run dry.

- Pollinate female indoor melon flowers, then pinch out 2cm (0.75in) beyond the flower. Pinch out the growing point of outdoor melons twice, at four-week intervals. Water outdoor melons regularly once established.

- Pull off suckers appearing around the base of fruit trees. Make sure fruit isn’t drought stressed, especially those in containers, against a wall or newly planted.

- Continue training fan-trained trees. - Complete summer pruning of gooseberries and redcurrants and white currants.

 

Veg:

- Don’t forget to stop cordon tomatoes by removing the main shoot. Look for the leaf that’s above the fourth truss (set of developing fruit) and cut it off here. This should ensure that all the fruits ripen by the end of the season.

- Climbing beans may also need stopping, to maximise cropping on existing side-shoots. Stop them when they reach the tops of their supports.

- Beans need sufficient watering to help the seed pods set.

- Check climbing vegetables are securely tied to supports.

August

Sowing & Planting  

Fruit:

- Plant out rooted strawberry runners.

 

Veg:

- In the south of England you can still sow quick maturing salad crops such as summer lettuce, radish, rocket, sorrel, chicory and fennel.

- Continue to sow spring cabbage, turnips, Oriental vegetables and overwintering onions, in the south of England.

- Sow green manures such as crimson clover and Italian ryegrass to act as a soil improver and to cover bare areas. When dug in, they conserve nutrients and improve soil texture.

Problems 

- Check plants regularly for aphids and deal with them as soon as you see them.

 

- Look out for tomato and potato blight and deal with it as soon as you spot it.

 

- Watch tomatoes for blossom end rot, and other ripening problems. - Look out for fungal spots on bean and pea pods and leaves.

 

- Remove any sweetcorn cobs affected by smut. Carrot fly is still about.

 

- Check stored onions for softness and the grey or black mould of neck rot.

 

- Deal with brown rot on tree fruit.

 

- Deal with powdery mildew on grapes and melons.

General Care

Fruit:

- Summer prune restricted apples and pears.

- If necessary, prune plums, gages and damsons immediately after harvest.

- Water cranberries, lingonberries and blueberries regularly with rainwater. Tap water will do if butts run dry.

- Loosely tie together new blackberries and hybrid berry canes.

- Remove straw and old leaves and tidy up strawberries after fruiting.

- Prune out fruited summer raspberry canes and tie in new ones.

 

Veg:

- Irregular watering can lead to problems with blossom end rot in tomatoes, splitting of root vegetables and flower abortion in runner beans. Help prevent this by watering well during dry spells.

 

- Marrows should be raised off the ground slightly, to prevent them discolouring from contact with the soil.

 

- Take care when thinning out any late-sown carrot seedlings to prevent the scent released attracting carrot fly females.

Learn more: RHS Allotment Journal (book) RHS Gardening Through the Year: Month-by-month Planning Instructions and Inspiration (book) https://www.rhs.org.uk/ https://www.almanac.com/gardening/tips https://www.countrylife.co.uk/gardens/gardening-tips/month-month-checklist-garden-2021-209949 https://www.gardenersworld.com/ https://schoolgardening.rhs.org.uk/Resources/Activity/Get-the-Soil-Ready-for-Planting https://hub.suttons.co.uk/gardening-advice/monthly-gardening-jobs https://www.gardenhealth.com/advice/monthly-jobs https://www.gardenninja.co.uk/no-dig-gardening-for-beginners-charles-dowding-explains-togarden-ninja/ https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/grow-your-own/allotments/making-the-most-of-your-plot https://www.gardenorganic.org.uk/beneficial-insects https://www.gardenorganic.org.uk/mulches https://www.thegardenwebsite.com/vegetable-gardening-organic.html https://www.growingwithnature.org/chop-and-drop/#:~:text=Chop%2Dand%2Ddrop%20is%20basically,die%20back%20to%20the%20ground. https://deepgreenpermaculture.com/2019/06/11/chop-and-drop-gardening-sheet-composting/ https://www.onegreenplanet.org/lifestyle/chop-and-drop-mulch-and-why-you-should-use-it/ https://www.rhs.org.uk/soil-composts-mulches/mulch

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