• The vegetable garden will be in full growth now, time to thin out the beetroot, lettuce and carrots to help the chosen ones to form good crops.

  • Still time to sow many vegetables such as spring cabbage, winter lettuce, winter raddish & oriental leaves.

  • Hoe and weed all crops, weed competition takes up valuable water and nutrients needed for the edibles. Water thoroughly once per week in dry weather, better than little and often, a proper soaking once per week is the best way.

  • Harvest ready crops, broccoli and broad beans will be available, so too the salad leaves, spring onions and radishes.

  • Always be vigilant for pests and diseases, slugs & snails will be a nuisance, best time to gather those is during the evening, put out beer traps, they can’t resist a beer.

  • Tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and aubergenes take a lot of looking after, stop tomato plants when 4 - 5 trusses have set. keep their compost moist but never saturated, tie in the stems as they grow so they don’t topple over, when the flowers form water with diluted potash feed such as tomato feed. Keep a look out for white fly and blight especially on tomatoes and mildew on cucumbers.

  • Strawberries and other summer soft fruits are ready to harvest, birds might get there first though, so netting is a good idea if you can find the time. Trim off the strawberry runners as they take the energy from the ripening fruits.

  • Ventilate fruit grown under cover on hot days, otherwise the sun will scorch and damage the plants.

Catherine Payne