Spring took some time arriving this year, so as we move into June let’s hope the weather will settle down and we get some warm sunny days. Everything will be playing catch up so there’s still time to pot up hanging baskets and tubs and plant out summer bedding plants. With a few days of warm weather they’ll soon start to grow.
Plant up your baskets and keep inside until the beginning of June depending on the weather. Remember it’s not unknown to get a late frost in early June, especially this year as everything’s been delayed, so make sure you keep an eye on the weather forecast. Water regularly, everyday when the sun starts shining, and feed weekly with a plant food such as Miracle Gro or Phostrogen. Dead head often and your plants will give colour right through to the autumn. Why not plant a basket up with one type of plant, for example, trailing petunias for an instant effect or even a productive one with tumbling tomatoes or herbs?
The beginning of June should be about the right time for planting out the more tender bedding plants, such as salvias, dahlias and the ever-popular geraniums. Watch out for slugs on newly planted bedding plants and herbaceous such as hostas; they’ll ruin your plants overnight if left unchecked, particularly marigolds! The new seed-raised New Guinea Impatiens Divine appears to resist downy mildew and have proved excellent on the trial beds.
There’s plenty to do in the vegetable plot. Keep sowing or planting salad crops such as carrots, beans and peas to get a succession of feeds. Little and often is the rule. Remember don’t plant out tomato or cucumber plants until it’s warmer at night – they soon go blue if there’re cold!
Keep up the spraying of roses to prevent blackspot and mildew and to control any aphid invasions. Dead head regularly to get a succession of flowerings. Spray gooseberries against sawfly, as once you get the caterpillars on your plants they’ll strip it within a matter of days. Protect any fruit against bird damage by netting over the bushes. After looking after your plants for the rest of the year, it’s a shame if the birds get to the fruit before you do!
Pottering in your garden
Continue weeding borders on a warm sunny day, this not only lets some air into the ground, but fewer weeds means less competition for nutrients and water. Thin out any annual seeds that you’ve sown directly into the garden, to allow the stronger plants to grow. Any tall growing herbaceous plants are better staked before they start to fall over. Trim off dead heads as flowers finish this allows the plant to put all its energy into producing more flowers.
Trim back perennial Alyssum and Aubretia as soon as the flowers finish. Very often Aubretia will produce another batch of flowers later in the summer and into the autumn. Early flowering shrubs such as Weigela, Deutzia and Philadelphus can be pruned back after flowering ends – remove some of the older flowered stems to encourage the shrub to produce new fresh growth for next years flowers.
Continue mowing the lawn and trimming the edges. A neat lawn makes everything else in the garden look at its best. Apply lawn feeds and weedkillers now. We have a new product in stock at the moment called MO Bacter which is a slow release organic fertiliser for lawns. This feeds the lawn over a 12 week period and contains a bacteria (bacillus sp) which is naturally found in the soil and when added to fertiliser it consumes dead material like thatch and moss, making raking or scarification unnecessary.
Apples will drop many small fruits this month – it’s known as the June drop. Don’t worry! It’s nature’s way of thinning out the crop. You can do even more thinning if a particularly heavy crop is being carried.
Although we’re rapidly approaching the warmest months of the year, give a thought to planting some seed potatoes for a Christmas crop. These should be planted in July and can be harvested ready to cook for Christmas dinner.
This months gardening tips were provided by Ann Winwood of Lealans Garden Centre, Shipley.