A tricky June for tender crops – Diary of a Rocket Gardener

Spending a little time in the veg garden yesterday evening, I noticed that my beans, squash, courgettes and cucumbers are still struggling to really get going. Although the temperatures have been a little warmer the past few days, the colder part of early June and little rainfall (here in Cornwall) has been tough on them. Their leaves are yellow and mottled, they’ve barely grown since I planted them and they are far from the vibrant plants I was growing this time last year. In fact, a ‘memory’ came through on my phone, and the photos of my garden last June are vastly different.

Here’s one of my courgette plants from last June:

Look how big it is! It was planted in the same week of 2023, in mid-May. The outer leaves are very yellow (we were in the middle of a heatwave and I wasn’t watering unless absolutely necessary, so the plant was putting energy and water into its newer leaves which are lovely and green) and there were even a few small courgettes forming.

And here’s one of my plants from this June, taken yesterday evening:

It’s tiny. It’s just not getting enough water, or enjoying the temperatures.

So, what to do? Well, I’m half tempted to say that the plants are just going to have to tough it out. But, we are due some rain here in Cornwall this evening, and then I may just go and give each and every bean/courgette/squash & cucumber plant a really thorough watering this weekend to make sure that they have plenty of access to moisture.

I feel like it should be warm enough for them now, so hopefully they will quickly bounce back.

If I don’t start to see some deliciously green leaves forming early next week, I’ll most likely try and cloche them or cover with fleece to try and warm them up a little.

Luckily, I know that all is not lost, that there is still time for them to bounce back and produce a good enough yield. I could also get new plants and plant into a growbag in the next week or so, and as long as I were to water them and grow them in front of my house (south facing and very sheltered/warm) they would probably outgrow the ones that I planted back in May!

One thing I will probably do, is to pinch out the growing tips once I’ve got a few fruits forming on the squash and cucumber plants, so that they focus their energy there. I’m not worried about the beans and courgettes – they will inevitably produce a glut regardless of this little setback… They always do!