Roehampton Garden Society


Gardeners Question Time 22nd June

RHS specialists can help!

Come to our own Gardeners Question Time on Saturday 22nd June at Roehampton Cricket Club, Putney Heath. 6.45 for 7.30pm.

Discuss all areas of allotment gardening with our very knowledgeable experts:

Please email rgs.sw15@gmail.com to register interest as numbers are limited.

 


June jobs on your allotment

June Foxgloves

  • Continue to hand-weed or hoe regularly to keep on top of weeds.
  • Dig deep to remove highly invasive bindweed as it appears.
  • Continue to mow or clip grass paths weekly.
  • If you have sown green manure, dig it in this month to fix the nitrogen in the soil.
  • Water potatoes well, for good-sized tubers and reduced problems with scab. (Remember to target-water, not spray, to avoid water wastage.)
  • First, second and salad potatoes may be ready for harvesting. Tubers should be ready when plants begin to flower.
  • Water tomatoes regularly and evenly. Uneven watering can cause cracked fruit and blossom end rot. Regularly pinch out side-shoots on cordon tomatoes and tie in plants to supports.
    Feed every 10-14 days with a liquid fertilizer, changing to a high potash fertilizer once the first fruits begin to set.
  • Plant out sweet corn 16” apart in blocks, not rows, to aid wind pollination.
  • Continue planting out or direct-sow runner and French beans.
  • Direct-sow courgettes.
  • Sow radicchio in drills for autumn salad leaves.
  • Sow fennel and oriental greens such as mizuna and pak choi.  June sowings reduce the risk of bolting.
  • Successionally, sow salads, rocket and basil etc every two to three weeks for continuous picking.
  • Make a late sowing of peas for an autumn crop.
  • Quick-germinating annuals, such as cosmos, that attract insect pollinators can still be sown.
    Sow wallflowers for next year.
  • Quick-maturing radishes or salad leaf crops can be sown between brassica rows. Ensure netting on brassicas is bird-proof.
  • Sow overwintering carrots such as Autumn King or Chantenay.  Cover with insect-proof mesh to prevent carrot root fly.
  • Transplant pencil-thick leeks now into 6” deep holes. Cover with insect-proof mesh to prevent leek moth damage.
  • Plant out pumpkins, squashes in well-manured ground. Plant out outdoor cucumbers and peppers. Protect with fleece on cold nights.
  • In the greenhouse ensure adequate shading.  Check nighttime temperatures and close door on cold nights.
    On hot days keep greenhouse temperatures down by using maximum ventilation and damp down greenhouse floors to increase humidity.
  • Keep fruit bushes well watered. (Target-water, not spray, to avoid water wastage.) Protect soft fruit from bird attack by netting securely and tie in new raspberry and blackberry canes.
  • Continue to check for sawfly larvae on gooseberries. Hand pick off.
  • On plum trees, after the ‘June drop’ of excess developing fruits, thin the fruits to prevent over laden branches breaking.
  • Continue to regularly harvest established asparagus – mid April to mid June. If asparagus growth is weak, apply a general fertilizer of fish, blood and bone.


May jobs on your allotment

Pea Frame

  • Hand weed and hoe regularly to keep on top of weeds. (Chickweed will produce 2,000 seeds per plant per season if left untouched!)
  • Keep the soil in good condition. Add garden compost or well-rotted manure to maintain soil structure and retain moisture and nutrients.
  • Sow fast-growing green manure where there are areas of bare soil where summer or autumn vegetables are to be planted out. Dug in before July it will fix nitrogen in the soil.
  • Plant comfrey.  The leaves can be used as a compost activator, as well as a making an excellent liquid feed.
  • Keep adding to the compost heap, making sure to mix ‘greens’ (lawn cuttings etc) with ‘browns’ (ripped cardboard, straw etc)
  • Continue to mow grass paths.
    • Strimmer is available to borrow in store. Charge £1.00.  Contact rgs.sw15@gmail.com to book.
    • Lawnmowers, free to borrow, are stored in the toilets on both sites.
  • Earth up potatoes when shoots are approx. 9 inches to prevent green tubers, pulling the earth up with a rake to form peaked rows. Remove any cold-damaged foliage.
  • Watch out for early summer dryness. Recently planted trees, shrubs and fruit need regular watering for the first two growing seasons.
  • Remove raspberry suckers encroaching onto paths or between rows.
  • Sow salad crops successionally, including radishes, spinach and beetroot and herbs such as basil, coriander and parsley.
  • Sow cauliflowers, sprouting broccoli, Brussels sprouts and leeks for harvesting next winter.
  • Sow sweet corn, French and runner beans direct into the soil.
  • Sow carrots.  Use insect mesh to protect from carrot fly.
  • Make late sowings of peas by the end of the month.
  • Prepare a fine seedbed and sow flowering annuals to attract pollinating insects.
  • Plant out tomatoes towards the end of the month watching out for drops in nighttime temperatures below 12 degrees C.  Be ready to put protection such as fleece or cloches around plants on cold nights.
  • Sow pumpkins, squashes and outdoor cucumbers under cover now or outdoors towards the end of the month. Watch for cold nights.
  • Start hardening off tender plants for planting out at the end of the month.
  • Ventilate greenhouses on warm days and cover vulnerable plants with fleece if cold nights are forecast. Apply shading to prevent scorching of plants.
  • Place straw under strawberries to keep fruit clean and deter slug damage. Feed with tomato fertiliser every week.
  • Support broad beans with string attached to stakes. Watch out for blackfly on broad beans and rub off or wash off with squirted water. Pinch off the tips with blackfly above the flowers and bury in the compost heap.
  • Net cherry trees against birds.
  • Harvest stems of established rhubarb when the stalk reaches 9-12 in. Pull (do not cut) stalks, taking no more than half at any one time.
  • Inspect gooseberries for signs of sawfly damage. Pick off by hand.
  • Start harvesting established asparagus.


April jobs on your allotment

April Plot

  • Draw up soil around the base of peas and broad beans to support them and increase the rooting area.
  • Plant early potatoes when chits are 2cms long.
  • Earth up early potatoes when they have made 8” growth.
  • Second early and maincrop potatoes should be sown by the end of the month.
  • Clean greenhouse glass to improve light levels.
  • On sunny days ventilate the green house by morning opening and close late afternoon to conserve the heat.
  • Avoid damping off in seedlings with good ventilation and not overwatering.
  • Make a late sowing of broad beans and sow early peas.
  • Make succession sowings of beetroot, Swiss chard, lettuce, radish, summer spinach, spring onions, parsnips and turnips.
  • Sow early varieties of carrot when the ground has warmed up.
  • Sow indoors or in the greenhouse Brussels sprouts, cabbage, early leeks, cucumbers, courgettes and peppers and sweet corn. Seeds available in store.
  • Once tomatoes have their first true leaves, plant them deeply into individual pots
  • Sow tomatoes for outdoors.
  • Water crops regularly in dry weather.
  • As weather warms make an early sowing of climbing or dwarf beans to transplant next month. Root-trainers available in the Store are ideal.
  • At the end of the month sow tender vegetables indoors, such as runner beans, squash and pumpkins.
  • Sow herbs, dill, fennel and parsley from seed.
  • Harvest rhubarb by pulling a few stalks at a time. Put the leaves on the compost heap.
  • Plant out autumn-sown sweet peas or direct sow outdoors.
  • Finish planting shallots. Available in store.
  • Plant soft-neck garlic.
  • Plant up new asparagus and globe artichoke beds.
  • The first cutting of asparagus is traditionally made after St George’s Day, 23rd April and the last cutting on the longest day, 22nd
  • Weed ‘defensively’; remove weeds before they flower to avoid seeding.
  • Cover radishes and turnips with horticultural fleece to protect against flea beetle.
  • Watch out for early aphid attacks. Quick action by manually removing these or hard- spraying with water can reduce likelihood of damaging infestations.
  • Feed roses with rose feed.
  • Once leaf buds open, start formative pruning of plum and cherry trees.
  • Use fleece to protect blossom of trees such as pears if frost is forecast.
  • Sow annuals to attract pollinating insects such as Nigella, single flowered marigolds, Comos, Caliphonian poppies, oregano and thyme.
  • Keep grass paths manageable by regular cutting.
    • A strimmer is available to borrow in the store. Charge £1.00. Email rgs.sw15@gmail.com to book.
    • Lawnmowers (fee to borrow) are stored in the toilets on both sites.


All about Hedgehogs – 22nd April 2018

Hedgehogs need our help. There are few left in central London, and our allotment sites could provide a safe haven.

A free talk by the London Wildlife Trust will tell you how to encourage hedgehogs in your allotment or garden.

Do come along – 22nd April, 1p.m. at the Store, Site 2. Please reserve your place by emailing brennalattimore@gmail.com or signing up in the store

Find out more about how to help London hedgehogs at http://www.wildlondon.org.uk/hedgehog-help