What's in season: June
June is a satisfying month for gardeners, who see the fruits of their labour from earlier on in the year.
The first spring-sown veg crops are finally ready to harvest, as are many fruits, including strawberries and raspberries.
Whether you grow your own, visit farm shops and farmers markets or shop in supermarkets, you should find a wealth of seasonal British crops to enjoy this month.
Vegetables to harvest or buy
- Broad beans
- Courgettes and summer squash
- Globe artichokes
- Spring onions
- Baby carrots
- Spring cabbage
- New potatoes.
Fruit to harvest or buy
This month we're talking about strawberries
Quintessentially British, strawberries conjure up thoughts of picnics, tennis and are one of the simple pleasures of summer.
Although imported, strawberries are available in supermarkets for many months of the year. June is the month to eat locally grown ones, which have been ripened outside in the summer sunshine.
Growing your own strawberries allows you to try varieties that you won't find in the shops. While commercial growers favour firm fruits with a bright colour and uniform size, home gardeners can choose for flavour alone. Some of our favourites include Royal Sovereign, Gariguette and Mara des Bois.
Harvesting in the garden
Harvest broad beans from the bottom of the plant first. You can pop open a pod to see if the beans inside are big enough.
Summer-fruiting raspberries are just starting to fruit now. The berries develop on long canes, which grew last year and get cut down at the end of summer. Autumn-fruiting raspberries grow differently and won’t be ready until August.
Pick the first courgettes when they are still small and tender, perhaps even with their flowers attached. It won’t be long before you have far more than you know what to do with.
Leafy herbs and cut and come again salad leaves need regular harvesting to encourage fresh new leaves. Snip them with scissors or snap off individual leaves as needed.
Probably the perfect picnic food, strawberries are in their prime right now. Many creatures love them just as much as we do, so keep them covered with netting and put a jam jar with a little beer in nearby, to lure away slugs and snails.
Whole lettuces need to be harvested as soon as a head has formed – left too long and they will flower and turn bitter.
Thin out rows of spring onions, carrots and beetroot by harvesting a few when they are really small, allowing the others to fatten up and fill the space.