Growing your own vegetables is satisfying and economical. It requires work, but there are many growers on social media that can be a resource.
It is a good idea to start in early Spring so that you can get the soil prepped and fence built before the heat of summer. You should have your soil tested for its nutrient and pH levels. The ideal soil is loam, which is a mixture of clay, sand and silt.
Top jobs to keep your vegetable patch in perfect shape to deliver a bumper crop of delicious healthy produce.
Here are some of the key jobs to focus on in June. Keep an eye on the weather and adjust your plans accordingly. This summer has given us a real North/South divide with some of the home counties now facing water restrictions, while gardens in the North are less thirsty having enjoyed a good drenching in the past week.
Whatever the conditions in your neck of the woods, get out there, get your hands dirty, and enjoy the rewards of your hard work! Happy gardening!
Be proactive with your approach to maintenance tasks and you can help ensure your plot continues to provide you with fresh, homegrown goodness throughout the summer months.
Potatoes (Solanum tuberosum) are thirsty plants, but overwatering can lead to issues like rotting or fungal diseases. Check the moisture levels in the soil regularly and water your plants deeply when needed. Focus on the roots and avoid wetting the leaves to minimise the risk of disease. If possible, water in the early morning or late evening to reduce water loss through evaporation.
Lift your earlies. If you’re growing early or new potatoes, you can start harvesting when the plants have flowered. Carefully dig around the plants, feeling for small tubers about the size of a small egg. Gently remove them, leaving the rest of the plant undisturbed. New potatoes are often harvested in small batches over several weeks to enjoy their delicate flavour.
For other varieties, you can harvest once the foliage has withered and fallen back. These will probably be late summer through to October. Again, take care digging them out – use a fork or spade and try not to damage the tubers.
General vegetable patch maintenance
Like newies and your main crop potatoes, not everything in your vegetable patch is ready to pick at the same time, so you’ll have plenty of ‘care’ tasks to keep up with to ensure you give your crops the best chance of maturing. Here are a few jobs you should bear in mind:
- Pinch top shoots of broad beans – water after flowers start
- Lots of water for French beans; continue sowing.
- Peas need lots of water if the weather is dry; if the first crop is ready for picking, pick regularly to encourage other pods.
- Transplant leek seedlings – either to beds vacated by brassicas of last year, or by new potatoes this year.
- Pull soil off onions to let the sun ripen them
- Transplant brassica seedlings from the seedbed when ready.
- Sow more lettuce, radish, spring onion, carrot, rocket, beetroot etc.
- Sow parsley for winter and spring.
- Pinch cucumber tips at 6-7 leaves, marrows at 2 feet long; keep the soil moist and mulch (if conditions are hot and dry cover with black plastic); feed.
- Remove flower heads from mint and lemon balm so aromats and flavour develop in the leaves.
- Stop cutting asparagus in the middle of the month.
- Watch for early signs of any pests/diseases.
Weeding and watering – June is prime time for weeds to invade your vegetable patch, so get your weed patrol on high alert! Keep an eye out for those pesky intruders and pull them out before they take over. Remember to wear some comfy knee pads or take a kneeling pad, because you’ll spend a fair bit of time on the ground.
This month has been uncharacteristically warm for a British summer, so don’t let your plot go thirsty! Water regularly, especially during dry spells. Aim to give a good soak at the root level during the cooler evening rather than just spritzing the leaves. Grab that trusty watering can or set up a drip irrigation system to ensure a consistent supply.
Ripening fruit requires care and attention to prevent it from falling victim to rot or pests. Here, are a few pointers to help you keep more of the sweet stuff for yourself.
- Protect strawberries – traditionally straw to stop mud from splashing onto fruits and causing rot, but black plastic with slits in it also works well.
- Pick soft fruit as it comes ready.
- Summer prune gooseberries and redcurrants – cut back new shoots to about 5 inches long, at a bud (except for shoots you want to keep for next year).
What’s in season in June?
If you’ve put in the work on your vegetable patch, June should see you ready to introduce some of these to your kitchen.
- Broad beans – if you’ve done your prep, your broad beans should be just about ready. Harvest while they are still young and tender and enjoy in salads, stews or as a standalone side dish.
- Carrots – baby carrots, also known as ‘finger carrots’, are particularly popular in June. These tender, sweet roots are great for snacking or adding a pop of colour to your dishes. Give them a gentle tug to harvest them when they’re about the size of your little finger.
- Lettuce and salad greens: Leafy greens like lettuce, spinach and peppery rocket thrive in the mild UK weather of June. Harvest the outer leaves as needed, allowing the inner ones to continue growing.
- Garden peas reach their peak. Plump pods filled with sweet, tender peas are a real treat. Whether you enjoy them raw straight from the pod or add them to salads, stir-fries or pasta dishes, their fresh flavour will elevate any meal.
- New potatoes – June is when new potatoes make their appearance. These small, waxy potatoes have a sweet, nutty flavour and a creamy texture. Boil or steam them until tender and serve them with a knob of butter and a sprinkle of fresh herbs for a real treat.
- Radish – These colourful, crunchy root vegetables are quick to grow and ready for harvest this month.
- Gooseberries – should be coming to ripeness. They might be early due to the warm weather but keep an eye on them if you have a bush in your garden/allotment.
- Strawberries – Juicy, sweet and approaching their prime in June. Head to your plot and you’ll likely find these deliciously aromatic wonders ready to pick. Enjoy them fresh, or use them in desserts like Eton mess, strawberry shortcake or homemade jam.
If you found Perfect vegetable patch checklist – June helpful, you’ll find more expert tips for managing a vegetable plot on our Gardening channel.
Last modified: June 21, 2023