Alan G or "Mr Green Fingers" says: Alan has been working the vegetable garden plots in this village for 20 years. He has real experience with our soil and microclimate. Alan suggests using Yates garden guide, which classes this part of Victoria as ‘cold’. He says this is a very reliable guide for our garden. This guide is displayed in the middle hot house.
Here are his suggestions for June. Plant lettuce all year round. This month you can plant onions, spinach and climbing peas. Buy a punnet of spinach and give it a try - it's good value! Also plant garlic. Buy a couple of bulbs at the supermarket - ONLY use Australian grown. Break up the cloves and plant in well prepared soil with the pointy end up. Prepare for strawberry planting. Compost with a mixed fertiliser and mulch well. Get some runners from another gardener if possible and start them in pots until ready to plant. Netting cover is needed to keep the birds off. Spring onions. Sow seeds in pots. Make use of the glass houses to bring on for transplanting in late July - August.
It used to be said that you didn’t plant anything in June because you’ve still got most of winter to come. It is true that July is likely to be as cold and wet as June but there are a few some crops that don’t mind that and can get started early and be established to benefit from the warmer conditions that will follow in August.
Salad greens that grow well throughout winter include some types of lettuce like cos, butterhead and the oakleaf varieties. There are also other soft greens that can be used in spring salads like watercress, spinach, rocket and endive that can all be planted in the winter months. Don’t forget that radishes can be harvested after five or six weeks and make a tasty addition to the spring salads.
Broad beans planted now will be harvested in October and peas will be ready in September. Both carry their crop for about three weeks, so it is worthwhile putting in a later sowing so save some space for them. Remember that dwarf peas do not need staking or other support. The sugar and snap peas are tall – they can grow to 1.5 or 2 meters and will need long twigs or a frame or net to grow up.
Some of the cabbage family can be planted through June. The large-headed broccoli, cabbage and dwarf cauliflower can be planted to crop in spring.
June and July are the best months for putting in maincrop onions, spring onions and garlic, chives and shallots. Give yourself a variety of these because they can be used in so many different ways in the kitchen.
Late June is the time to start putting in the early potatoes. Plant them in a trench with lots of compost then fill the trench as they grow, later ridge it up. Early varieties include Kennebec, Red Pontiac, Kipfler and the excellent local variety Toolangi Delight. Get approved virus-free ‘seed’.
Most of the crops that you have in the ground in winter are tolerant of frost but potatoes and maybe spinach or somelettuce are the exceptions. We only get a few frosts that are severe enough to affect the tops of potatoes – any night in June, July or even August when the forecast is 4 degrees or less. It is worth just putting a sheet or two of newspaper over the tops, secured so that they don’t blow away, then removed the following morning.
Don’t forget to remove all the old plants left over from earlier crops so that the soil can be prepared for the next plantings.
Gardenate is an excellent website that gives a lot of information. Click on a vegetable and there is more information plus Q&A on that vegetable. Click her for what to plant in June
Yates Yates is also an excellent guide for Australian Gardeners and a favourite of our own Alan G. See guides in our sheds. www.yates.com.au