From Soil to Supper with Rob’s Allotment

19th Jun 2024

Image showing Garden Trading's Lynton Sofa Set and Aldsworth Potting Table, surrounded by plants and foliage

Whether you're a seasoned gardener or just starting out, planting and harvesting your own vegetables is about to become more rewarding. Columnist, blogger, and esteemed author of Grow to Eat (2024) - Rob Smith, aka @robsallotment, certainly knows a thing or two about cultivating a plot. A wander around his glorious garden has gifted us with Rob’s guide to cultivating the best veggies, plus a mouth-watering recipe that will take your tomatoes to the table. Read on for his top tips...

5 Vegetables to Sow in June

1. Courgettes Sow seeds directly into the ground or in large pots. Courgettes are quick to grow and thrive in the summer heat. Their plants produce abundantly and can be used in a variety of dishes. Unless you harvest them daily, be prepared for some whoppers!

2. Runner Beans Perfect for starting off in June, simply plant runner beans directly in the ground and provide a trellis or bamboo wigwam for them to climb. They grow rapidly and will produce a plentiful harvest, but before the eatables arrive you will be rewarded with a beautiful display of red flowers for several weeks.

3. Beetroot Forget the overly vinegary beetroot of your youth. Beetroot is a versatile vegetable that can be sown throughout June. It’s easy to grow and doesn't require much space. Sow seeds directly into well-prepared soil, and don’t forget that the leaves make tasty additions to a garden salad!

4. Carrots To yield the best results, sow directly into the ground, choosing a sunny spot with loose, sandy soil. Alternatively, start carrots off in old buckets, ensuring there are holes for drainage. Ever versatile, they are perfect for snacking and adding to a variety of dishes, plus the leaves can be used for a punchy carrot top pesto.

5. Salad Leaves June is an ideal time to sow a variety of seasonal favourites, such as lettuce, rocket, and spinach. These fast-growing greens can be sown every few weeks to ensure a continuous supply throughout the summer. Why not scatter a mix of seeds in a bed to create a cut-and-come-again salad patch? You’ll be able to get multiple harvests throughout the sunnier months.

Pick and Plate

June is a month of abundance in the garden. Expect to harvest a range of delicious vegetables, including:

- Broad Beans: Suitable for fresh salads or cooked dishes, the tips of the plants can be harvested and cooked with garlic in a little butter.
- Peas: Sweet and tender, perfect for snacking or adding to dishes; plus, the tips of the plants can be added to salads as pea shoots.
- Early Potatoes: These can be gathered in for delicious, freshly cooked potatoes; amazing with a little fresh mint and butter.
- Spinach: Ready to pluck for nutritious salads and cooking; the leaves can be blanched and frozen for use all through the year.
- Radishes: Fast-growing and perfect for adding a peppery crunch to salads; their leaves can also be added to a stir fry for a waste-free veggie!

Offering longer days and warmer evenings, June creates the perfect conditions for growing vegetables. This month isn’t just about planting and harvesting; it’s also about the joy of spending time in the great outdoors, teamed with the satisfaction of savouring dishes made from ingredients you’ve grown yourself. With this simple recipe, you can enjoy the fruits of your labour. Simply grab your tools, head outside, and start planting. Happy gardening and bon appétit!

Summer Cous Cous Salad with Mixed Tomatoes Recipe Card

Ready to get the barbecue fired up, harvest some veggies, and spend the afternoon relaxing with friends? The garden-to-table lifestyle is all about embracing a slower, more intentional way of living, whilst taking the time to appreciate the process from plant to plate. There’s something truly magical about dining alfresco with homegrown produce, and the convenience of having an informal, relaxed seating area in your garden makes it easy to transition from gardening to dining without missing a beat.

Quote from Robs Allotment regarding his idea of the perfect summer sanctuary

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