June is one of my favourite months in the Polytunnel. The mad rush to get everything planted has passed and if all your plants are growing tickety-boo, you should be able to enjoy nurturing your crops, observing how they develop and best of all, there should also be a decent range of crops ready to harvest. Yummy! It’s a good idea to keep a note of what you have planted and when. Or simply jot down all manner of reminders, ideas, temperature’s and refer to next year….and the year after!
Gardening in June
June is a lively month in the Polytunnel – temperatures are rising, it will feel positively Mediterranean! Days are longer and everything should be bursting into bloom and looking its absolute best!
With longer days there comes more sunshine (with a bit of good luck) and the extra light and warmth encourages the Polytunnel to put on an exuberant burst of growth. June is the month to harvest early fruits and scrumptious vegetables such as broad beans, baby carrots and beetroot!
There is still time to sow some summer crops, although it is starting to get a little bit late for courgettes, squashes & cucumbers. Not wanting to wish time away but from the middle of June, you can start to sow crops for autumn & winter. You can sow:
- purple sprouting broccoli
- cabbage and cauliflower
Ventilate as much as possible, open vents and doors. Damp down your Polytunnel on hot days to increase humidity. Attract beneficial insects to your Polytunnel by planting a variety of flowering annuals and perennials to bloom over the entire growing season.
Keep Pests + Weeds Away
Continue the campaign against slugs – don’t let your guard down! Keep an eye out for snails and pick them off. What you do with them is up to you. Birds are your friends here – flat stones artfully located are useful accessories for birds to practice their snail bashing techniques.
The extra light and warmth also mean weeds will sprout up from nowhere. Keep on top of them by hoeing regularly as they will want to compete with your plants.
Water Your Plants (and yourself)
Water is a precious commodity. Introduce good practices such as using kitchen and bath water (as long as it’s neither too dirty, greasy or full of detergent) for watering and collect rainwater. The best time to water is either early in the morning or later in the evening when there will be less evaporation.
Automatic watering systems are economical with water, as well as convenient, so consider installing one sooner rather than later.
Remember to look after yourself, as well as your plants. On sunny days it will get seriously warm, so stay well-hydrated and always remember to use sun cream or plan your workload to avoid the hottest parts of the day.
There are plenty of reasons to celebrate June, but let’s start with just one: It’s summertime….sit back and enjoy the warm sun and all the new colours and fragrances in the Polytunnel
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Sean Barker is the MD of First Tunnels, and is enthusiastic about providing quality gardening supplies to gardeners across the UK