With most of us enjoying frost-free nights and longer evenings to spend outside now, our veg beds and fruit gardens are in full swing in June.


Rosie Yeomans shares some of her top tasks for the month, in the video slideshow below.

More fruit and veg advice:

June fruit and veg inspiration

Rosie's jobs for this month:

Sow sweetcorn outside

Now the soil is warm, sow sweetcorn straight into the ground. Sow two or three seeds in each spot to be sure you get a plant and thin them out once they’ve germinated. You could carefully transplant the excess seedlings, it’s worth a try. Sweetcorn are wind pollinated so these group formations allow the pollen to waft down from the male flowers at the top to the cobs forming below. It's partial pollination that causes empty and misshapen cobs. Seeds take just over a week to germinate. Once the plants have been thinned and are growing away, give them a good soak and mulch with plenty of compost or manure.

Control blackfly on the broad beans

My heart sinks when I see the dark clusters of blackfly feeding on my broad beans. It’s inevitable. They mostly populate the tips where the sap is the sweetest and you might notice ants helping themselves to the sticky honey dew too. I start by cutting the tips off every plant. That reduces the population immediately but they will recolonise in a week or two and eventually head for the bean pods. If you’re able to use a hose pipe, put your hand behind the tops of a group of plants at a time to stop them snapping then blast the fly off with a jet of water. If that’s not an option, try spraying with an organic soapy solution. Whatever you do, unless you’re rescued by a legion of ladybirds, it’ll need repeating several times to keep them at bay before you’ve finished harvesting the beans.

Water and mulch

I target the plants I water in the veg patch at this time of year. It’s wasteful to spray water randomly. The most effective way of watering is to use a ground level method of seeping water into the soil around the plants. If the weather is warm I use the strategy of soaking every few days in the evening or early morning. This encourages deep rooting and a level of drought resistance. Courgettes, cucumbers, tomatoes, celeriac and celery are on my list for more frequent watering. Lettuce, spinach and leaves near to harvest can be kept from bolting with more water too. Keep a thick mulch cover of compost between plants and add more after a long rain downpour to stop it all evaporating.

Thin out apple and pears

My apples and pears often set far more fruit than they can support. There’s a natural loss called the June drop where immature fruits thin themselves but it’s worth going through the trusses if you can reach them to improve fruit quality and just to keep the tree from exhaustion, particularly if the tree is young or is a trained form that is developing its shape. Don’t pull the fruit off by tugging at the trusses, I use scissors and remove any small and misshapen fruits leaving the best one per cluster. The remaining fruits should be about 10cm away from neighbouring fruits to be sure of plenty of space and light to develop into a good quality crop.