Most of my crops are now visible, which is great, but they now require a lot of attention.
Growing your own is not the easiest way to ensure fresh, local, produce but it is very rewarding. It does require time and effort though.
Be sure to water regularly according to the plants' needs.
Onions don't require gallons of water, only some now and then if it's really dry, but as they are in the same bed as our carrots, which do need water, they get done anyway!
Some plants need plenty of water though, and they include squash and pumpkins and runner beans. Seedlings of course need to be kept moist.
Raspberries I find can do with a bucket on them every night when it is dry, once they have flowers. Don't forget the strawberries, but be careful not to let them get too wet or the fruit rots - hence they don't love damp spells when the berries are ripening (like at the moment!).
Anything in pots need to be remembered, especially in dry spells.
Don't forget the rhubarb. It performs better when well watered, just don't put the water on the crowns or they will rot, water round them instead.
You will find a multitude of small weeds appearing now, especially with rain to encourage them! Some, like dock and dandelion which have deep roots, which need to be completely removed, can be dug out with a small trowel while they are still small. Other small weeds can be hoed off. When the soil is dry and hard, pull the hoe over the bed taking off the leaves of the plants and these shouldn't re-grow.
By keeping on top of them now, you can save yourself a lot of time and trouble later on. Just be careful not to take up your plants with the weeds!
Once your crops show above ground they really need vigilant nurturing.
Slugs and snails can destroy your crop in a day and so I do resort to slug pellets. I try to use environmentally friendly ones and even then only sparsely, but without them my efforts could easily go to waste. Check your plants, especially after rain, for signs of attack
Check the back of brassicas (cabbage/kale/cauliflower/broccoli) regularly for butterfly eggs. They look like a regiment of small yellow dots and you need to either squash them off, or remove the leaf they are on before they hatch.
Last year I kindly denoted them to nature loving Son 2, who reared them into cabbage white butterflies - through the chrysalis stage, which was absolutely fascinating. He was so delighted when his first butterfly emerged.
Put straw under strawberries, so the fruit has something soft to ripen on and to keep them off the wet soil. Then net them, but please make sure birds can't get under the netting and get trapped.
Remove yellow leaves from brassicas.
Continue to plant successional rows of seeds. Things like lettuce and spring onions can be sown through until the end of June and some into July.
Pick herbs regularly to encourage them to grow.
Hopefully we shall have our first taste of home-grown strawberries soon. Lavishly coated in sour cream and honey! Can't wait!