By Megan Slack
Green-thumbed veggie lovers, rejoice. Beloved garden expert Monty Don has revealed that we still have time to create a new vegetable garden for summer.
While it’s still possible to dig into some homegrown jewels in our summer dinner parties, the gardener and broadcaster warns us that time is of the essence – so act this weekend – and your garden and kitchen will thank you in the future.
See: Kitchen garden ideas – easy ways to get started
In his June blog, Monty explains how the vegetable garden is ‘coming out of the ‘Hungry Gap,’ which starts with the final winter crops and ends when the first crops of summer are harvested. However, we’re not quite ready to let the Hungry Gap period end without planting a vegetable garden from scratch – and thankfully – it is still possible. Get involved by following Monty’s tips below.
Monty Don’s June vegetable garden advice
Starting a vegetable garden at this point of the year can be tricky, but following Monty’s advice, we can’t go too far wrong.
Monty begins by recommending vegetables that grow successfully in warmer climates, noting how tomato plants, squashes, runner beans, courgettes, and sweetcorn are suitable for outside. Meanwhile, melons, cucumbers, eggplant, and peppers, are better in a greenhouse.
He adds it is essential to keep ‘a succession of lettuce going this month’ and suggests making ‘small sowings every two or three weeks,’ so you’ll always have an ongoing supply of leaves for an al fresco salad in the garden.
See: Small vegetable garden ideas – from layout designs to the best crops to grow
Plus, for maximum tomato success, Monty recommends routinely pinching out the side shoots, saying it is ‘best - and easiest – to do this first thing in the morning when the plant is turgid, and they will snap off easily in your fingers.'
Despite all its sun-drenched glory, June is the month when weeds begin to thrive, so Monty urges us to regularly weed vegetable pots with a hoe. ‘The secret of effective hoeing is to always do it in dry weather and preferably in the morning so that the weeds will cut cleanly from the soil and then dry out and die during the day,’ Monty explains.
See: Monty Don shares his secret for getting rid of garden weeds – for good
These weeds can then be raked up and put on the compost heap, which will, in turn, improve your vegetable garden even further. We did tell you Monty is a genius.
May your gardens and kitchen tables reap the benefits of a June vegetable garden for a very long time to come.
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