As we head into the peak growing time there are a number of little things going on in the kitchen garden that you should keep an eye on. This is our definitive to-do list, which should be done at least every week, but is even better done more frequently.
- Check moisture levels in soil
Depending on the weather you don’t necessarily have to water every day, but during drier spells all your veggies will need a thorough watering at least once a week.
- Watch out for pests and disease
The key is to check regularly for signs of pests or disease, particularly caterpillars (or eggs), aphids, and slugs, so that you can do something about it before your crops are too far damaged.
- Check tomato plants
Tie stems in to canes for support if needed. Look for side shoots and pinch them out to encourage production of more flowers and fruits.
- Make sure nets are still in place
If you have any windy days it is a good idea to make sure any protective netting you have is still secure to keep birds and other pests at bay.
- Harvest Cut & Come Again leaves
Even if you don’t fancy a salad that evening, it’s better to cut off the outer leaves to keep the plant from bolting and to ensure a longer crop.
- Do a spot of weeding
Just spending an hour a week with a hoe will make the world of difference to the number of weeds you have to contend with.
- Check pots
If you’re growing in pots, be extra careful to check moisture levels, and top them up with a couple of handfuls of fresh compost every so often to replenish nutrients.
- Earth up
Potatoes should be earthed up regularly, and it’s a good idea to earth up around the base of leeks for longer white stems. Also, earth up around the base of sweetcorn and broad beans to help them stand strong on windy days.