One of the first jobs to take care of is the planting of your onion sets, shallots and garlic. These can go in now, and will crop around the end of June. The most popular variety onion is the ‘Sturon’. It’s a high yielding variety that stores very well. If kept dry and cool you can be using Sturon right into next winter. They are versatile and tasty, highly recommended.
For a late season crop, the best choice is Stur BC 20. Once planted in spring, they will remain in the ground late into the summer, and again store very well.
For a red onion, go for Red Baron. They have a white flesh with red rings, and are excellent as a salad onion.
Shallots are very easy to grow too. Plant as you would onions, in a sunny open position. For a salad choice go for Red Sun, they possess a delicious mild flavour. For something with a stronger taste Hermine, Longor and Vigarmor are very good.
Garlic too can be planted now. One of the stronger choices is Cristo, whilst Marco and Arno have a milder taste.
One of the first vegetable plants that can be planted out are Broad Beans. These chunky little things are pretty tough and will survive a late frost. Leeks too are hardy. Make sure when you plant your leeks you drop each one into a hole quite a bit bigger than the plant itself. This will mean the leek will be able to grow and expand easily rather than remain stifled in firm compost.
With regards to planting seeds out, make sure the soil is warm enough before sowing. One way of making sure the conditions are conducive to planting is to pop your hand into the ground. If you can leave it in there for 30 seconds or so, plant away!
Now is the time to get those greenhouse vegetable plants on the go too. Tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and aubergines can be sown, then planted into 3 litre pots or deep growbags to give you a great harvest all summer long.
Happy gardening, see you soon,
Simon, Alison and all at Askett Nurseries