JUNE VEGETABLE GARDEN
Discover what to sow, what to plant, how to prepare seed potatoes and what chitting means…
Our never-ending summer that has lasted right through autumn has been great for growing veggies. The only downside has been the need for more supplementary watering than is usually required at this time of the year. June, the official start of winter, is when keen gardeners start to think about growing some edible treats to be enjoyed next spring and summer.
SEEDS TO SOW
Only hardy varieties can be sown in June and I find I get the best result by sowing the seeds in containers and producing sturdy plants to plant out later. This gets them away to a good start as they deal with wintery conditions. Cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, lettuce, silver beet, beetroot, perpetual spinach and spring onion all benefit from this method. Peas, broad beans and snow peas can be sown in pots or straight into the garden but I favour growing them in small pots before planting out. Carrots need to be sown direct into the garden and normally I sow my last batch in late March/early May but, if the weather remains as mild as it has been recently I’ll risk another sowing in early June.
First early potatoes can be planted in mid July so this is the time to prepare seed potatoes by chitting. Chitting involves pre-sprouting the tubers by putting them in trays (I use egg cartons) and placing them in a warm, light, dry spot to allow the young shoots to develop. Good early varieties include Cliffs Kidney, Jersey Bennes, Illam Hardy and Arran Banner.
VEGETABLES TO PLANT
Garlic, shallots, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, perpetual spinach, lettuce, spring onions, silver beet and hardy herbs such as rosemary, thyme, sage, parsley and coriander. Plant mint in pots to prevent invasive roots and shoots from overpowering less vigorous plants.
Commercial strawberry growers like to get their beds planted as soon as possible in late autumn/early winter. Planting now allows the maximum time to produce a strong plant with a well developed root system that will support a large crop of succulent fruit. It also encourages early and prolonged cropping. If using bare-rooted strawberry plants that are dug straight out of the ground just be careful that the roots are never allowed to become dry before planting. Next summer, here we come.
Contributed by Chris Green, SuperGrans Volunteer
Want to know more? Come along to our monthly Garden Group on the 26th June, 10-11am at the SuperGrans Offices, 14 Jocelyn St, Katikati and meet our volunteer gardening gurus! Free event, just drop in.