6th June

06 Jun

‘Mr Middleton says: Be prepared for pests and get there first. Don’t wait until the crops are running alive.’


1. Train Cucumbers.- Cucumbers need frequent training if they are not to get out of hand, no matter where they are grown. All growths should be pinched at each second joint and regularly tied in.

2. Get Tomatoes Out.- Where tomatoes are being grown in large pots for outside culture they can now be moved outside with reasonable safety. Stand in rows in a sheltered spot. Have a strong cane in each pot which to train the plant and tie all the canes to wire, set some 3 ft above ground and fastened to stout posts.

3. Watch Onions for Seeding.- Autumn grown onions and those grown from sets often tend to run to seed.

4. Beware of These Pests.– Broad beans are attacked by an aphis known as black fly, which can cause havoc to a crop in an epidemic year. To check it the soft tips of the plants are pinched out while the plants are in full flower. This tip is the point where the infection usually starts, so nip it out as soon as the petals have fallen from the lower flowers and tiny beans are showing.

5. Sweet Corn and Strawberries.- Sweet corn can now be planted out in the open. Allow 2 ft. by 2 ft. The more sheltered the spot the better chances of success. Strawberries should be netted up to protect the fruits from the birds. Slugs have a partiality for the fruits too, and may be trapped by putting down cabbage leaves for them to congregate under (they must be examined daily), or poisoned by using a mixture of powdered Meta tablets and bran. An alternative to bran, which is rather scarce, is dried blood.

6. Sow, Plant and Hoe.- The hoe should be used regularly in the garden to keep down the weeds and to prevent them from flowering and seeding. Plant out marrows. Sow climbing French beans and scarlet runners. Feed crops with fertilizers, especially onions.

I have actually harvested my first cucumber this year already. I admitted l had cheated a bit by buying two plants in. Mine are still struggling and nowhere near the size of those that l bought. So what is best? Buy plants that are difficult to get established and provide an earlier crop or struggle through the whole process of seeding, nurturing etc and possibly get something in August or September? I wouldn’t do this for everything, of course, but l will for cucumbers, aubergines, cillies and certain tomato plants if l happen to see some at a good price!


I have two rather lanky looking tomato plants that l am going to plant out but we do suffer with blight here so the others are staying in the greenhouse and we will see how these two get on.

My onions l planted from sets are doing really well and are bulbing up nicely. My garlic, however, is deteriorating by the day with rust. Its so sad to see but l vow now never to bother here again and use the space for other crops. The markets here sell very good local garlic quite cheaply in the summer so l will do that.

self-seeded coriander

I haven’t managed to grow sweet corn this year due to lack of space and the fact that seeds here in France can be very expensive. I buy a lot of my seeds from the UK via the internet. Others l look around for here but sweet corn seeds are selling at nearly £4.00 a packet! Bean and pea seeds can sell for nearly £7.00 a packet! Why? I really don’t know. Its one of the mysteries of life out here.

I have planted out all my courgettes, squash and pumpkins. I am working for an Italian family at the moment who are renovating a house. They are using copper guttering which, they say, is normal to use in Italy. I told them never to renovate a house in the UK using copper as it would be gone the next day! They couldn’t understand this. So, the odd cut offs l have been using to put round my courgettes etc to deter the slugs and snails. It seems to be working.

We have had some good rain last week which has helped no end. Everything has come on and last night l made a broad bean dip which l took to a bbq. See my other blog where l will be putting pics up soon:

This time 66 years ago to the day, the Allies were landing on the beaches of Normandy not so far from here. Mayhem and carnage ensued but those brave men fought for freedom and to end a long and terrible war and won. I am hoping to go up there soon and reflect on what it must have been like for those young soldiers. It seems strangely odd that 66 years later l am living out here working as a gardener. Thanks to those men we have the freedom of movement and the choice to do these things. We should never take it for granted. Thank You.


Posted by on June 6, 2010 in June, The garden


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6 responses to “6th June

  1. Jo

    June 6, 2010 at 10:26

    I don’t think there’s any problem with buying in plants if you have trouble growing them from seed. Last year I ended up buying all my brassicas as plug plants, and it looks like I will be doing the same again this year, I have so much trouble growing brassicas from seed. I can’t believe the price of bean and pea seeds, it’s a good job you can order from the UK.

    • trevorhunt

      June 8, 2010 at 18:45

      Hi Jo,
      I don’t like buying plants in as, even after all these years, l do get a thrill from sowing seeds, see them germinate and look after them to the day of harvest. But sometimes needs must. I have been lucky this year with brassicas but other years l have had all sorts of problems so l suppose it pays to persevere sometimes!

  2. Mal

    June 8, 2010 at 14:13

    “Watch Onions for Seeding” – I’m watching, Cpt Mainwairing.
    No advice offered if they are showing signs of bolting (?) – presumably uproot them and wring their necks pronto.

    My Edinburgh onion seeds are about the size of a darning needle so no danger there! The sun disappeared on Satuday afternoon, never to reappear

    I bought in 6 tomato plants so that I could grow 6 different varities. They are now two foot tall and flowering away. My cucumbers and chilli peppers are two inches tall! Next year I sow indoors in January – or buy some in.

    it’s a real revelation that sweetcorn was grown in the UK before the sixties. I thought it was an introduction by the Jolly Green Giant.

    Keep the barbecue fire’s burning Trev.

    • trevorhunt

      June 8, 2010 at 18:50

      Hi Mal,
      You are right really with the onions bolting. But l have left them to flower and then cut the long stalk and dried the seed head which, of course, is a lovely purple colour and looks really nice in a bunch to collect dust somewhere.
      Just making some elderflower cordial. Smells great. Happy gardening.

  3. freerangegirl

    July 4, 2010 at 00:05

    I love the whole concept of your blog and what youre doing – we now follow mr middletons advice as much as mr titchmarshes! I cant bring myself to put my toms outside though – too blightfrightened and too cold up here!

  4. Jimmy Cracked-Corn

    December 2, 2010 at 15:30

    You can plant almost any dried beans from the grocery store instead of buying those expensive packets of bean seeds. Give it a try next year!


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