June is the
gardener's sort of halfway house末a time for taking stock and finding out
where we stand. So after patting ourselves on the back, let's survey our
plots, and assess our progress to date and the extent to which we may be a
bit backward and consider what needs to be done if we are not to be caught
napping this coming winter. In the first five issues of this guide we
emphasised the need for planning ahead, getting our needs in good time,
getting things done in good time. But gardening on paper is too easy末and
it's not so easy to put paper advice into practice when the weather or lack
of spare time just puts paid to the best laid plans issued by a government
department or the gardening papers.
What we gardeners have to bear in mind always is that lean
period from about February until the end of May. Anyone can grow vegetables
in summer末and get gluts of them; but it is those winter vegetables that
need more thought and attention.
If you have been following this monthly "Guide"末with such alterations as
your family's likes and dislikes have dictated末you should have little cause
to worry; but if you have so far been happy-go-lucky in your choice of
crops, you still have time in June to do something to put matters right. The
crops you want for next winter末assuming your family likes them all末are the
green crops末Brussels sprouts, sprouting broccoli, kale, savoys; the
roots末parsnips, carrots, turnips and swedes; onions and leeks; dried peas
and bean; potatoes.
It is too late to do anything about
potatoes, onions and parsnips, if they are not already growing on your plot.
While it is too late to sow seeds of Brussels sprouts, sprouting broccoli,
kale and savoys, you can order some plants of the last three from your usual
nursery or shop. Kale and sprouting broccoli should be put out about
mid-July, savoys later in that month or in early August. Though it is rather
late to plant Brussels, there is just the chance that you may get a fair
crop if put in the plants at once.