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Gardening Diary : June

The latter part of March and all of April were especially dry this year and we all started to worry about our gardens. So, what a change May brought with an abundance of rain, making it one of the wettest for years! Let’s hope we can rely on ‘flaming June’ to redress the balance and kickstart our summer!

Let’s look at our garden tasks for June:

Lawns

You should now be mowing regularly, but if the weather turns hot and dry, raise the mower blades a little to reduce stress on the grass.

Recycle your clippings on the compost heap, putting them in layers with bulky material. Don’t do this however if you have used a translocated weedkiller on your lawn as this can remain in the compost and cause you problems next year!

There’s been a lot of publicity this spring on ‘no mow May’, encouraging us to let the grass grow and weeds and wildflowers to flower providing pollen and nectar for pollinating insects. Why not make a resolution for next year to leave a small area in the corner of the lawn to create your own ‘wildlife’ area?

Flowers

Hopefully, your plants survived all those frosts in April and May. Now then is the time to start planting all those bedding plants that you have struggled to accommodate indoors or in the greenhouse. Remember, its still best to hardened off tender plants before they go out.

Its the time for hanging baskets, so if you haven’t planted them up – now’s the time!

Strange to be thinking of next year already, but for spring/early summer displays you need to be thinking about sowing biennials like Wallflowers, Sweet Williams and perennials like Hollyhocks and delphiniums.

Vegetables

Such a busy month in the vegetable patch and greenhouse!

Its important to keep on with your salad sowings to maintain a constant supply. Sow lettuce, radish, spring onions, beetroot and carrots every couple of weeks for tasty, succulent vegetables.

Now’s the time to plant runner beans previously sown in pots and soils should now be warm enough to sow dwarf French beans direct outside.

Tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers can be planted in the greenhouse early in the month and later in the month plant tomatoes, cucumbers and sweetcorn outdoors in a warm, sunny site.

Fruit

Strawberries will be producing ripe fruit now, but there is still time to “straw down” under the plants to help protect the fruit from rain and fungal problems. At the same time remove any runners forming as they will take energy away from fruit formation.

Its a good time to net young ripening fruit if you don’t want to share it with the birds!

Blueberries are becoming very popular for acid soils and growing in containers. Use rainwater for watering as tap water can be quite alkaline which blueberries don’t like.

Shrubs

Having enjoyed the spring blooming of shrubs such as Ceonothus, Azaleas and Camellias, its time to do any pruning that may be necessary, removing any dead wood and adjusting the shape of the plants to your requirement.

Many shrubs should be fine in June, but roses will be producing their first blooms, so remember to “dead head’ to encourage further flowering.

Garden Ponds

Have you done your pond maintenance? If not, get your pump serviced and remove excessive pond weed. You might want to put in a new oxygenating plant to improve the life of fish and wildlife, or perhaps add a new ornamental lily?

Enjoy the sunshine and keep your eyes peeled for next month's blog for all your essential gardening jobs this July!

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