Busy Month of June

June is a hectic month for a gardener. Endless pots of tender plants that have been nurtured and protected for many weeks can go outside now, suddenly lots of planting and watering needs doing as well as successional sowing of fast maturing crops.

I spend a lot of time in the kitchen garden during this month, and with an allotment too you could say I’m pretty busy at the moment! It’s never a chore though, not when I get to be outside in the fresh air, listening to birds singing and bees buzzing. The kitchen garden is bursting to life (if a little behind due to a cold start).

I’m never alone in the garden, our German Shepherd dog loves to follow me around and lay in the cool grass as I get on with planting. I can’t quite believe she turns 9 years old this August, where has the time gone? Five years on from losing our other GSD weeks after his 8th birthday we feel blessed to have her every single day, I love her company so much, even when she squashes my plants with her bottom!

There’s usually another pair of beady dark eyes watching from a tree or a spade handle, my little gardener’s friend the Robin waits for the chance to grab a worm, hopping around me as I work. I managed a photo of my other garden buddy hopping between the borlotti beans looking for a meal.

We planted peas late this year due to difficult spring weather, pods are just starting to fill out with fat peas from the bottom up and none have made it to the kitchen. Oops.

Busy or not I love a spot of pottering around when I’ve finished all my jobs. June brings goodies to the garden and snacking as I potter is a joy. Peas and young broad beans straight from the pods, oh and strawberries still warm from the sun, little moments like this make growing your own so worthwhile.

And Sow it Begins

I came home from hospital last weekend, my body is tired and sore but getting a little stronger every day. I ended up needing more surgery than expected which has set my recovery back with one thing or another but I am getting there, slowly. I miss spending time with the chickens and of course the day-to-day activities in the garden smallholding, family are mucking in and doing what’s needed. I long for the day I can join in rather than watch from the window but I’m not to lift anything heavier than a cup of tea for at least 6 weeks. Meh.

I guess I can cope with the tea bit.

After going through our seed stash last month we’ve ordered what we need for the new growing year with some new varieties to try, the rest will be our own saved seed. We will buy our seed potatoes very soon and set them out to chit in egg boxes.

We like to sow our tomatoes and chillies early, harvesting can begin as early as June/July depending on varieties grown. Chillies need constant heat to aid germinate so we’re using a seedling heat mat at the moment to help. We’ve never used anything like this before when germinating seeds such as chillies and peppers, we usually get decent germination results by using the warmest spots in the house but it can take up to a month to occur due to temperatures dipping at night. It’s a bit of a trial so we’ll let you know how the heat mat performs in terms of germination rate/time, and if we like it enough to recommend we’ll do a little blog post. Rich set everything up for sowing our seeds to avoid me lifting anything, all I had to do is pop the seeds in. It felt so good to be involved and gave me the lift I needed.

It’s official, gardening is therapy!