There was a plague of greenfly in some parts of the UK around mid May. Damp weather followed by sustained warmth created the ideal conditions. Light winds exacerbated the problem. Meanwhile some predators such as ladybirds suffered a slow start, or simply been overrun. Indoors the Plant Pest killer spray will control infestations of whitefly and greenfly.
For natural control in the greenhouse of pests such as red spider mite, whitefly and greenfly, one option is to use a Natural Greenhouse Fumigator. Do check there are no predator allies in the greenhouse before use!
In my greenhouse, everything is growing strongly. Continue to remove side shoots from cordon (indeterminate) tomato varieties. Bushy (determinate) varieties such as F1 “Tumbler” don’t need any side shoots removing. When the first truss sets feed with a high potash liquid tomato feed as directed by the instructions.
I’m growing more cucumbers this year. My main variety is the dependable “Telegraph Improved”. Cucumbers require more humidity than tomatoes. This also helps to deter red spider mite. During hot conditions I spray the path with water to increase humidity.
The dry weather has certainly put a strain on water butts. It is handy to have more than one butt if possible, as the maximum demand on them is likely to be when there is no rain to replenish them. Water butts are great for the environment. They can be a big time-saver too, as you do not have to go walking around the allotment site to reach a water tap. It is also worth noting that not all sites have mains water.
All my tender plants are now out on the plot, in their final positions. Frost Protection Fleece, came in handy as there was a local frost on 18th May. A key focus for June is to now help these young plants become established. We’ve had very little rain over the past three weeks. This spells danger for the young root systems that are not yet fully developed. I’ve been visiting the plot every other evening to water the plants. A copious amount of water is important for getting the best out of my established asparagus crowns too. They can continue to be cropped until the middle of the month. After that, it is best to leave them alone to restock their energy levels for next year.
Most of my broad bean foliage has bite sized notches on the leaf edges. The damage is caused by the common pea and bean weevil. The good news is, while it does look unsightly it isn’t anything to worry about. Most strongly growing plants will tolerate this without it having any negative effect on them.
Strawberries are now coming into season, perhaps a little later than last year, due to the late spring. I’ve been covering my bed with bird netting while the fruit is still green. It is a similar story with redcurrants.
My seed sowing efforts this month have revolved around successional sowings of turnips. Looking further ahead towards winter, I’ll also be sowing my first batch of spring cabbage and Kale “Black Magic”. Let us hope for a continuation of the nice weather, albeit with a little more rain!