We are checking our newly grafted trees and they are all looking very healthy. The orchard team are busy mulching around the bases of our mature trees with shredded paper and cardboard, then using grass clippings to weigh it down. When cutting the grass in our orchards we tend to leave large patches uncut. This should result in all of the annual and perennial wild flowers being able to eventually re-seed, providing a great habitat for creatures big and small while maintaining the rich biodiversity of our orchards.

We are running through our usual maintenance tasks for June, repairing fencing, prepping land and ensuring our irrigation systems are all working like clockwork. We are also experimenting with creating our own biochar.

Flowers will be abundant in June and unless you are growing for seed as we are, you will be busy harvesting for food. Any of our plants that are in full flower at this stage before they begin to produce their seed, provide beautiful colour for us and food for the bees. Plants can become quickly stressed and stressed plants invite aphids. This year there has been a bit of an aphid problem, but our preventative measures of spraying regularly with liquid seaweed or nettle tea has helped immensely.

All of our planting is just about done but we will be planting out peppers in the polytunnels in June. We sow our carrots in June as they’ll still grow fast enough and mature in time for the autumn. Planting at this time of year helps us to avoid the cycle of the carrot root fly.