Things are hotting up in the veggie and fruit garden this month, and there's a lot to sow and plant.
Fortunately, these are tougher than many of the soft bedding and patio plants, so you can really get stuck in.
Unless of course, the storms keep on coming!
- Sow parsnip seeds into a fine, firm seedbed. F1 Albion does well and has excellent resistance to canker. If you have had difficulty getting these to germinate - wait until you see the weeds germinating. This will tell you that the soil is warm enough!
- You can also sow peas, carrots, cauliflower, broad beans, cabbage, radish, sprouts, lettuce, and many other vegetables.
- Sow parsley, dill, and chives outside or in cell pack modules. Coriander and basil should only be sown under cover with a bit of heat, as they are quite tender.
- Avoid compacting wet soil by standing on boards to spread your weight.
- Early seed potato varieties can now be planted out in sheltered spots. Delay planting the maincrop varieties until the end of the month. Be ready to cover any new shoots that emerge if a frost is forecast overnight.
- Plant onion sets out, deep enough so that the tops are just showing. Check regularly and replant if any are pulled out by birds. You can also plant garlic and shallots, even though it is now getting late in the year.
In the Greenhouse
- Hang up Agralan Yellow Sticky Whitefly pads in your conservatories and greenhouses. These are similar to fly papers and are harmless to humans. If you have introduced predators as natural pest control, you must take down these pads as they will catch them along with the pests!
- On warm days, open the ventilators but remember to close them again at night.
- Remove insulating bubble polythene from inside. Ensure that the glass is clean, to allow maximum light in.
The Fruit Garden
- Protect the early flowers on apricots, peaches and nectarines from frost. A sheet of polythene may suffice. Use a soft brush to pollinate blooms by hand.
- Scatter Growmore fertiliser and Sulphate of Potash around fruit roots. The rain will wash it in.
- Around newly planted trees, apply mulch whilst keeping a gap around the trunk. About 10-12 cms deep is ideal. All canes and fruit bushes will benefit from this too.
- If you missed out on autumn planting, plant strawberry runners now. The depth of planting is critical to getting this right. Too shallow or deep will reduce yield. Aim to get the thick swelling of the plant - the crown - only half-buried.
- Plant grape vines in the sunniest place. Soil that is well-drained suit them best.