Well, summer is finally here and it is always an exciting time on the allotments in June, when the strawberries are ripening and everything has probably been planted until the autumn. Its a case of watering well and weeding now. Feeding wise I use a seaweed fertiliser, either in powdered form or a liquid feed which you dilute. I like also using a natural feed, like putting comfrey leaves in a water butt, allowing them to decompose in the water. It makes a very good high potash feed, but dilute it with more water before using.
I’m growing carrots again this year, these like a fine soil and sowed thinly. Keep well watered until they germinate. Thin out if too close together and planting next to onions will help deter carrot fly. They also don’t like freshly manured soil, it affects their tapered roots.
Cabbages and other brassicas can be tricky to grow, especially if your soil has club root. A disease which affects the roots, forming a tough tuber type root. There are resistant varieties of cabbages and cauliflowers available, though I also try adding garden lime to the soil which helps a bit.
Onions are another invaluable vegetable we grow, started from onion sets in April, the area raked over finely before planting out around 8 inches apart, fed with granular dried seaweed or similar fertiliser. Keep the area weed free and watered until they get established. Onions leaves eventually turn yellow and bend over when ready. Gently fork them out of the soil around August and allow bulbs to dry out on raised netting or hang up to totally dry, before storing in a cool dry place.
Indoor tomatoes will need weekly feeding with a potash liquid feed and tying up as they grow up their supports. As a rule, best to pinch out the growing tip when around six trusses of the yellow flowers are formed. This gives more strength to the vines to develop bigger fruits.
With all these vegetables that will be available through out the summer, why not try this vegan coleslaw recipe to enjoy with your summer salads and on sandwiches!
5 cups cabbage, both green & red –shredded finely
3 cups grated carrots
2 tbsps sugar or maple syrup
2 tbsps apple cider vinegar
1/8 tsp celery seeds - 1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup vegan mayo e.g. “Veganaise” or other type
• Cut up and shred finely some red & green cabbage to a bowl add grated carrots and mix together.
• Add the sugar or maple syrup along with the apple cider vinegar, again mixing well to cover all the cabbage and carrots.
• Add the celery seeds and salt, mixing it all together.
• Then finally add the half cup of Vegan mayo and mix well, adding a bit more if you prefer.