Vegetable Gardening Jobs for Early Summer
Plant Brussels sprouts for harvesting in late winter, and also winter cabbages and broccoli. Plant self-blanching celery as soon as possible in early summer in well-manured soil.
Plant leeks, choosing the thickest seedlings if you have a surplus, and cut the tops back by a quarter of their length and the fibrous roots by about half.
In cool regions, sow swedes for eating during the following winter, dusting the seed drills with calomel as a precaution against club root disease. Thin swede seedlings early and dust them with HCH to protect against flea beetle attack.
Towards the end of early summer, sow spinach beet for eating in autumn to spring.
Plant marrows if seeds were not sown directly in the prepared bed earlier. Also plant outdoor tomatoes in their cropping beds or grow bags. Insert canes or other means of support alongside tomato plants, although bush varieties need no support. Water the young plants immediately and give further thorough waterings every few days if the weather remains dry. Give a liquid feed weekly.
Continue to sow salad crops to maintain supplies during late summer. There is still time to sow batches of peas and French beans.
Peonies are among the most beautifully formed of all garden flowers, their satiny petals providing rich shades of red and pink, or soft creams and white, often with a prominent boss of golden stamens in the centre. Once the flowers have faded, these plants remain attractive right through until the autumn because their leaves are also very decorative. Paeonia officinalis ‘J. C. Weguellin’ has vivid magenta-crimson, single flowers; or choose from the wide range of single, semi-double and double hybrids of P. lactiflora.
Other early summer flowers are wide-ranging — herbaceous perennials and old-fashioned roses being most prominent. Aquilegias, campanulas, delphiniums and geraniums provide a wealth of blue and mauve flowers and heights from just a few inches to 1.5m (5ft) or more. Dicentra, erigeron and lupins add pink and white flowers to the early summer scene, while hypericum and eschscholzia are valued for their hotter oranges and yellows