French and butter beans can be sown in the open. Place seeds
singly, about 15cm apart and 5cm deep.
Runner beans for growing up trellises or on frames can be
sown now in a sunny spot. Although generally grown as
annuals, runner beans can be cut back to ground level in
autumn and will come away again the following spring.
Smaller cucumber varieties (Lemon, True Lemon) can be sown in
rich soil but in cooler areas, these and other cucurbits,
including zucchini (courgettes), are better grown from plants
bought from a garden centre.
Main-crop beetroot can be sown, to mature in autumn and stand
over winter. Sow beetroot seed about 1cm deep.
Asparagus can be harvested now and spears can be taken over
the next month. Resist taking any shoots in the first season,
so the root system can develop. Give an application of
general fertiliser, at the rate of 100g per sq m, before
harvesting starts, then liquid manure regularly for the rest
of the growing season.
Sweet corn can still be sown. Choose a faster-maturing
variety, and sow in groups of six to eight plants, 15cm apart
in each direction, to help fertilisation. The plants need
shelter from cold winds and plenty of compost, lime and
potash.Apply 45g a sq m before planting.
Celery plants can be transferred to the garden now. Space
them 30cm apart in trenches dug 30cm deep and filled with
Peas, lettuce, carrots, spring onions, radish and turnips can
still be sown for succession crops.
Winter greens - Savoy cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts,
kale and cauliflower - should be sown now.
Half-hardy plants will tolerate some chill but are likely to
be killed by late frosts. This group includes marigolds,
zinnias, Salpiglossis and bedding dahlias.
For better flowers, it is worth adding well-rotted compost
and a light dressing of bone dust to the ground where they
are to grow. Work into the top 20cm of soil before planting.
Phlox plants should now be a mass of shoots. A little blood
and bone worked in around the plants will ensure a good
display in late summer.
Tulips and narcissi should be left as long as possible before
lifting, cleaning, then replanting or storing.
Foliage must not be removed until it has turned yellow.
Dahlias may still be planted and old clumps of tubers lifted
and broken up for replanting. Stake when planting to avoid
damaging the roots later.
Greenfly is a common problem on roses. Spray with soap
solution, which will not harm bees; or with a commercial
Hardier tomatoes can be planted outdoors this month, but the
plants will need shelter from strong westerly and southerly
winds. Set stakes in position before putting in the plants so
the roots will not be damaged.