My June Garden
Updated: Jul 4
Time has flown as quick as the plants have grown! Here's a run through of my mid-summer garden.
As a gardener you can become aware of climate change purely from seeing the difference in crop success (or fail!) from year to year. Every year I mean to make a note of what does well, where it's done well and all the things I can do differently. I guess with this blog it's a start! We had a wonderful sunny May with some welcome rain this June to soak the ground deep and fill the water butts. The weather fronts also brought high winds and thunder storms. The changeable temperatures, rain fall and cloud cover make for attuned gardening- meaning getting to know your space, the plants you like/would like to grow and accept an element of trial and error.
This year the herbs have done wonderfully well, coriander in particular followed by chamomile, lemon balm and of course the mint. This year I've created a "tea bar" along the front bed which makes picking a cuppa a pleasure. I wish I had kept more of the builders blocks as they are perfect for growing herbs such as chives, parsley, tarragon which are planted elsewhere and challenging my inner struggling perfectionist tendencies! Note: my style of gardening is often slap-dash, unorganised and "lets see how this goes"!
When it comes to June growing we have to start with strawberries. What a beautiful harvest we've been having- easily 3kg from our raised planter. With fortnightly tomato feeds, quite some rain, lots of sun and plenty of straw underneath, we have enjoyed a bounty of this seasonal fruit. I must admit that I have put a good load in the freezer for pies, crumbles and smoothies to prolong this homegrown delight. I absolute love strawberries just as they are, still warm from the sun but also use them to flavour water kefir with fresh mint or basil, mix with yogurt to top pancakes and sliced onto toast with nut butter!
I've also made a delicious version of this strawberry cake with a mix of flours, ground almonds and pumpkin seeds. Perfect with a dollop of Greek yogurt.
June also saw the first of a few cauliflowers! I resisted growing these the last few years as they are not the easiest to grow successfully and take up a lot of space. However, I'm definitely growing these again next year as they are so delicious and almost a miracle to see grow. One day it's all green leaves and the next a tiny white crown that forms a beautiful veg, perfect for stir-fry, roasted with olive oil and spices and herbs, or bubbled underneath a cheesy sauce. I'll just have to prioritise space!
It's late June and the back veggie bed is now bursting with lettuce, beetroot, carrots and coriander. Yellow-stone carrots are wonderful to grow, super delicious and offer fantastic carrot tops for making a green "pesto"-type spread with pumpkin seeds, garlic and olive oil. I had them covered earlier in the season to deter carrot fly but then due to their size, lifted the fleece early May and thankfully have had not issues. My favourite way to eat these carrots is to cut length ways, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and cumin seed to roast in an oven for 25 minutes. A second sowing has gone in a week ago.
It seems that every gardener has a crop that rarely does well. For me this has always been beetroot. This year however I have followed the multi-sown modular method of sowing a few seeds to sprout and then transplant in groups of 3-4. The largest one ready to pick leaving the rest to fill the gap from its harvest. A fantastic way to grow lots of beetroot in very little space. What fills me with happiness the most is my 9year old asking to pick some out, give it a good scrub and simmer it for lunch to stuff into baguette with humous, salad and cheese. We also enjoyed them sliced onto a kale and garlic pizza!
So all in all, the growing season is in full-swing. July crops are likely to be the peas and beans and the cucumbers are coming along nicely too. Hope you are getting to enjoy some growing time too.