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Friday 30 May 2014

The Vegetable Plot – June

The root of the problem

At about this time of year young brassicas, that’s cabbages, cauliflowers and Brussels sprouts, come under attack. The cause of the problem is the cabbage root fly which lays its eggs in the soil near the plant stems.

Little white grubs emerge and eat the roots and your vegetable show is over. Take action at planting time by using cabbage collars which you can buy online or from the garden centre.

If you want to save a penny or two you can make your own from pieces of cloth or carpet, cut into circles. Cut a line to the centre and then cut two snips to make a Y shape in the middle. Fit these tightly around the young plants at transplanting time and they prevent the female root fly from laying her eggs.

Now it’s your opportunity throughout the month to plant out winter greens including Brussels sprouts, broccoli, kale and Savoy cabbage. Cauliflowers can be difficult to grow and the tip is to thin them early and keep them well watered in dry weather. Early transplanting, before the seedlings are six weeks old will help reduce stress.
  • Earth up potatoes
  • Blanch leeks
  • Remove runners from strawberries
  • Continue successional sowings of lettuce, endive, mustard and cress, turnips  
  • Train and feed cucumbers
  • Thin out seedlings from April and May sowings
  • Pinch out the tip of broad beans to help prevent black fly attack
  • Plant out runner beans, celery, tomatoes, sweet corn, marrows, ridge cucumbers, aubergines and capsicums
  • Sow parsley, French beans, chicory for forcing 

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