Once more the corner is turned, the longest day left behind and the fruits of our labour become ever more obvious. June in it’s passing brought us mildew and black spot, quite a number of early caterpillars and the pigeons haven’t given up on anything. The humidity has been a big issue for many crops, continuing to bring along disease, (so keep an eye on the spuds and tomatoes, it’s great weather for blight). An all purpose fungicide can be applied as a preventative, if the conditions continue. It’s also been perfect for midges and mosquito. I am not sure why, but they do like me.
So everything is growing, although it has been a bit of a struggle with some of the root veg, most notably the carrots, many of which have found themselves pummelled into the ground and then baked. I think that it’s going to be worth doing some late sowing and if you use early season or short varieties like Early Nantes, I think that you can still expect a result, Beetroot will still make it too. More traditionally we can be sowing Perpetual Spinach and lining up the first of the spring cabbage. It always seems crazy to be making these plantings so early, but it does pay off. Spinach will be fit for harvest by autumn and with sensible harvesting can carry on producing long into the winter. If you have started to lift any early spuds, have a go at replanting a few for Christmas. Stick them on a window sill for a week to ripen and then pot them back into a pot for harvest later. It fun and can give you a taste for Christmas.
The borders and containers will all be in full bloom by now, so try to keep them dead headed and watered across the summer. If time permits apply the same commitment to shrubs and roses too (many will repeat flower). Just a little effort will pay dividends and see your investment busy until the autumn. Pansy time will be back soon enough.
And finally if you can find a quiet corner, sow a few Wallflowers and sweet William, both have been beautiful this year, but they do need a long growing season, so start now straight into the ground and transplant in late September.