June seems to have been a month of either very dry or very wet this year. And with temperatures that have been variable making control in the greenhouse hard.
However, we allotment holders need to just carry on and get on with the things we need to do whilst hoping to avoid the dreaded blight.
What can you do in July on the allotment? Advice from the National Allotment Society says that we should keep up with the harvesting and successional sowing.
The Allotment Gardens website in its advice says that July is usually one of the hottest and driest months and also gives a list of things that can still be sown to fill up any spaces. We shall see if this year runs true to form as being hot and dry then shall we?
There are lots of sources of advice for what to do in your garden or on your allotment in June. But of course we are all dependent on the weather – and where we live in the UK. Up in Northumberland we are further behind in temperatures than in the “soft south” and no matter what the seed packet says we have to allow for that.
It’s worth noting this general advice on warmer and cooler areas of the UK. Seed packets are written for the whole of the country and it’s up to us to learn when to start and finish in our local area. But all the links below are full of good advice.
Someone has been very busy designing a site and collecting an immense amount of useful information for allotment holders.
All About Allotments gives links to an immense amount of interesting information from allotment information for beginners to allotment history and recipes for allotment holders and much more.
It’s quite a resource and one that could be investigated for a lot of information when you want a sit down at home with a cuppa (or whatever takes your fancy to drink).
“Last year’s wet summer, followed by one of the warmest winters on record, has helped to create a generation of sleepless slugs, wildlife experts have warned.”
It looks as if it will be a good year for the slugs and a bad year for us gardeners as a result looking at this report
It’s an interesting read that covers the what, the why and what gardeners can do to protect plants. Oh and it mentions some plants that slugs don’t like – maybe not useful ones on the allotment though.
And sadly, the conditions that are so good for slugs and the very ones that are bad for bees which we need as pollinators for our crops.
What you can do in May really rather depends on what you have managed to do in April.
This year April (2016) has ended with a flourish of winter weather, snow, frost, wind, rain and cold after gardeners have been waiting for the soil to dry out following the winter floods in northern regions. Of course there were a few days of real spring before this just to fool all gardeners and allotment holders.
So of course this soil is not suitable for planting out more tender crops which means that we shall all be somewhat behind this year. This may well mean that your greenhouse, cold frame and home window sills are still full of seedlings which are being nurtured prior to hardening off and planting out or putting into a cool greenhouse.
As the National Allotment Society says of May, it can be a month when summer comes and you need to take care to protect your seedlings from sun and drought or it can be “a complete disaster bringing damaging frosts, cold winds with heavy rain or hail” which means that you need to use other forms of protection. But the advice that they give for a traditional May should be a guide to what we should be doing on the allotment.
A much more detailed account of what can be done on the allotment can be found here – again there is the advice to be careful with the weather as some crops are ones where you only grow a few (courgettes, marrows, pumpkins). There is also advice for the greenhouse here. There are quoted here a couple of proverbs – Welsh and English – which really do apply for this year.