Think you’ve missed the opportunity to grow your own vegetables this year? Well, we’ve got some great news for you. There is still time if you get started now June is here.
It’s none other than much loved gardener and broadcaster Monty Don who’s reminded us that we haven’t missed the moment – although he did add that a little urgency is now required.
Getting on with the job quickly is well worth it. We know we’ve said it before, but we’re going to say it again. There really is nothing to beat the taste of veggies fresh from your yard. Whether your grow them in pots or as part of your raised garden bed ideas, it’s oh-so satisfying, too, to grow your own food.
Love the idea that you can still create a vegetable garden this year? Scroll down for Monty’s expert advice.
Monty Don’s top tips on starting a vegetable garden this year
Monty Don provided the inside track on starting a veggie garden this year on his website (opens in new tab) and we’re sharing his top tips along with some of our own advice.
1. The glad tidings Monty shared are that there is time to start a vegetable garden from scratch in June but, as he so politely puts it, ‘there should be some urgency to do so’. In other words, get cracking would-be veggie growers.
2. The nights are warmer now, so Monty advises that there are plenty of different veggies which can be planted outside. These include tomato plants, courgettes, squashes, runner beans and sweetcorn, he says. There's tips on how to grow courgettes in our guide.
If you've decided that this is the year you're going to learn how to grow runner beans are one of your choices, don’t forget that they will need supports created by bamboo canes or the like to climb up.
Own a greenhouse? Then the aubergines, peppers, melons and cucumbers plus the tomatoes grown there can go into the garden, too, Monty advises.
3. If fresh salad leaves are a must for your table, Monty says you’ll need to make small sowings of lettuce every two or three weeks to be sure of a continuous supply.
You might want to put in pak choi, too, which is a welcome crisp addition to salads, and handy for stir-fries as well.
4. What’s important in caring for your new veg garden? First of all you’ll need to pinch out the sideshoots on tomatoes regularly, says Monty. Take his advice and make this an early morning job when it’s easy to do because the plant is turgid.
Adopting this tactic ensures you can maximize your tomato harvest.
5. The other essential whether you are starting a vegetable garden this month or you already have one is to weed regularly, says Monty. His advice is to use a hoe and do the job when the weather’s dry.
Another pro gardener tip from Monty on how to get rid of weeds? Weed in the morning if you can. He explains that this means the invaders of your veggie garden can be cut cleanly from the soil, and then they’ll dry out and die during the day. Return at the end of the day to rake them up and put them on the compost heap.
You might be tempted to use weedkiller on the unwanted growth but, if so, don’t. It could harm your vegetables as well as the intended target.
6. Watch out for slugs snacking on your veggie plants. If you’re not squeamish you can pick them off by hand, or check out the traps and strategies in our guide to how to get rid of slugs.
Sarah is a freelance journalist and editor writing for websites, national newspapers, and magazines. She’s spent most of her journalistic career specialising in homes – long enough to see fridges become smart, decorating fashions embrace both minimalism and maximalism, and interiors that blur the indoor/outdoor link become a must-have. She loves testing the latest home appliances, revealing the trends in furnishings and fittings for every room, and investigating the benefits, costs and practicalities of home improvement. It's no big surprise that she likes to put what she writes about into practice, and is a serial house revamper.
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