What to do in June
There’s always something to do in the Polytunnel at this busy time of year, whether it’s pruning, tidying, weeding, opening/closing vents and doors, watering, sowing or harvesting ….there’s never a dull moment in a Polytunnel in June
The summer solstice is fast approaching and with plenty of daylight to let you get on with gardening bits and bobs, there really is no excuse. Your polytunnel should be a thriving hub, bursting with new, exciting activity.
June is one of my favourite months in the Polytunnel…..it’s the month you start to harvest some of your gorgeous home-grown fruit and veggies –whoooop! Now is the time to really look after your crops, pick them when they’re ready, water them when they’re thirsty, ensure pests are kept at bay, and keep the dreaded weeds down.
Look out for Weeds
Just like your fruit and veggies, weeds will be sprout up from seemingly nowhere in the Polytunnel and grow like wildfire too. Hoe at every opportunity to remove weeds and break-up the soil. Raking between rows should help keep weeds down and allow water to soak down into the earth. Pick out weeds around your plants carefully so as not to disturb the precious roots of your crops…The rewards for our efforts and TLC are coming in bountiful harvests.
June isn’t just the month that includes the longest day of the year…it can also include the hottest days too and temperatures in your polytunnel will soar so some serious ventilating and watering is the order of the day…An automatic overhead irrigation system can take care of your watering needs with the minimum of fuss and bother. Especially if you’re going on holiday! The best time to water is either early in the morning or later in the evening when there will be less evaporation and a little less heat. It’s also a good idea to damp down the Polytunnel floor every morning to help with humidity levels.
Keep Slugs Away
Continue the campaign against horrid slugs, they love to munch young shoots. 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 cleverly located are useful accessories for birds to practise their snail catching techniques.
It’s easy to create your own natural pollination within the polytunnel environment with the introduction of marigolds and ladybirds. Marigolds add colour to your polytunnel but they’re not just pretty faces, they will help pollinate your crops by butterflies to visit. Ladybirds are also a fantastic form of pest control. They’ll be happy to make themselves at home and will control the aphids in return.
Towards the end of the month, sow another batch of French Beans, Peas, Runner Beans and Courgette. This will maximise your growing season, and mean you will be harvesting well into October!
Successional sowing (every fortnight) of Peas, Lettuce, Beetroot, Carrots, Rocket, Spring Onions and Turnips will give you a constant supply of veggies and salads at their peak.
- Train climbing beans and continue to put in supports for your peas and cucumbers. Water along the rows of peas to swell the developing pods.
- Carry on with the thinning out of seedlings of earlier sown crops.
- Spray tomato flowers with water to encourage the fruit to set.
- Direct sow brassicas, cabbage, cauliflower and leeks ready for a winter harvest.
- Check plants regularly for signs of pests and remove any dead or diseased leaves
Sean Barker is the MD of First Tunnels, and is enthusiastic about providing quality gardening supplies to gardeners across the UK