Your Garden in June

Your Garden in June

Summer is finally here (hopefully)! And while this is a perfect opportunity to sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labour, there are still plenty of things to do in your garden in June. Here is our top 10 list of tasks to keep yourself occupied in the garden, now that the warmer months are here:

1. WEEDING AND DEADHEADING

This is one of those jobs that never really ends, as weeds manage to poke through and plants go over. With many plants the flowering period can be extended by simply removing the old flowers as soon as they fade (deadheading). This prevents the plants energy going into seed production and instead into channels it into new growth and flowers later in the summer and autumn. Most deadheading can be done with a set of secateurs, cutting back to just above the strong buds lower down the stem. Not only does this encourage further growth but it also keeps the garden looking fresh and tidy.

2. WATER NEW AND YOUNG PLANTS

Typically, rainfall is reduced by more than half in June, falling from an average of 114mm of rainfall to around 50mm. This makes it essential to keep plants well watered, especially young plants which are yet to establish themselves. The ideal time for watering is either early in the morning or in the evening, when the sun is low and less likely to scorch the plants. Sprinkler systems are great for keeping lawns looking fresh and green.

3. CHECK FOR PESTS

The warmer weather provides the perfect conditions for pests and diseases the spread throughout the garden, as well as amongst indoor plants. Biological controls are definitely the way forward during the summer months, as they perform best under warmer conditions.

Ideally you’ll want to use organic means to control pests and disease, rather than an assortment of chemicals. Luckily, most pests and diseases can be kept at bay by maintaining goof garden hygiene. This can be achieved by not allowing plants to grow too close together and feeding them to encourage strong growth – but not lush, soft growth which is more susceptible to attack. By doing this not only will you have stronger, healthier plants that are able to fight off attacks from pests and disease, but also reduce the need for chemical controls.

4. PROPAGATE CLIMBERS

An easy way to propagate many climbers, including clematis, wisteria and honeysuckle, is by layering. Many plants layer themselves whenever a branch or shoot touches the ground, forming roots at that point. By pegging these shoots to the ground, you can sever the young plants from their parent later in the season or the following year.

5. CUT BACK AND TIDY PERENNIALS

Old foliage can leave your garden looking tatty and unkept, so taking the time to remove old leaves and flower stems from your perennials is definitely a task worth doing. Remove the leaves at ground level and discard them. The new, young foliage can often be seen growing from the centre of the plant. A feed of general fertiliser and and organic mulch will do no harm.

6. TAKE CUTTINGS

Cutting taken from pinks (Dianthus) are called “pipings” and they are very easy to root.Look for healthy, young, non-flowering shoots. Hold the stem a few pairs of leaves from the tip and pull the cutting off. Put several cuttings around the edge of a pot in a mixture of peat-free compost and perlite, add plenty of water and place in a shady cold frame. Within three to four weeks the cuttings will start to root and then can be potted up individually.

7. SOW SEEDS OF PERENNIALS

Perennials such as lupins, delphiniums and hollyhocks can be sown in shallow drills in the corner of the garden. Once the seedlings have become large enough, pot them into individual pots to grow during the summer. These can then be planted out during the autumn.

8.PLANT OUT SUMMER BEDDING PLANTS

June is the time where you can plant out bedding plants, including tender kinds such as begonias, without the fear of damage from frost. If you haven’t already, remove old spring bedding plants and mix a little general fertiliser into the soil to aid you new plants as they establish themselves. Water plants well about an hour before planting them, especially when plants have been grown together in trays and their roots are disturbed when removed. Finally, give the plants another water once planted.

9. HARVEST VEGETABLES

Continue to harvest all crops as they mature. Early peas will be ready to pick now. Cut down the top growth of the plants after harvesting, but leave the roots of the peas in the soil as these will provide valuable nitrogen. Follow peas with a leafy crop such as cabbages which will feed on the nitrogen in the soil. This can reduce the need to rely on artificial fertilisers.

10. MOW AND TRIM LAWNS

Ideally by this time of year, lawns should be mowed at least once a week, preferably twice if possible. The reason for this is that the less grass cut off each time, the healthier it will remain. Also, try to mow in different directions each time, this is because if you mow in the same direction all the time, the grass tends to grow in that direction, making mowing less effective in future. If your lawn has turned a bit brown in the warm weather, mow a little less regularly and raise the height in the blades.

Why not take a look at our June weather guide for an idea on what to expect during the coming weeks.

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