The summer is here. We know this because the swallows have arrived, the weeds are rampant and although the hours are long there doesn’t seem to be enough of them in the day to get all the gardening jobs done.
But it doesn’t matter because as long as the days are endless and the weather’s warm, anything’s possible (except keeping the slugs from your prized specimens!)
The show must go on…
Cut back oriental poppies to the ground to encourage a new flush of growth. You can do this with your hardy geraniums too, to give a later flush of flowers.
Pick sweet pea blooms continually to keep the flowers coming.
Trim off the leggy growth in your hanging baskets to encourage vigourous regrowth, and plant out summer bedding.
Keep plants well watered in hot weather.
Earth up potatoes.
Once garlic and onion leaves start to yellow then it’s time to harvest them. Allow them to dry and store in a cool, dark, dry place.
Plant out tomatoes and pinch out side shoots to encourage strong growth. You can also plant out courgettes and squashes.
After your fruit trees and have lost fruit during the June drop, you may still need to thin out the fruit to 2 or 3 per group, to encourage better quality fruit and avoid over loading branches later in the season.
Net cherry trees, and any other soft fruit as it ripens to protect it from marauding blackbirds and pigeons.
Top dress any fruit trees in pots with fresh compost, a liquid feed and, once a week, a drench of water.
Letting the grass grow…
If the weather is very hot, let your lawn grow a little longer by cutting it on a higher setting to reduce stress. Ensure it is regularly watered, and keep new turf or seeded lawn damp until it is properly established. Feed your lawn with a good lawn fertiliser and treat with a lawn weedkiller if weeds get too vigourous.
With perennial weeds like dandylion, thistle, bindweed and nettles, dig out the roots thoroughly. Annual weeds, however, can simply be cut off at ground level with a good, sharp hoe and left to dry on the soil surface.
Little and often…
That’s the key to success in June – and for the remaining summer to come. A little weeding, dead-heading, sowing or staking done often will ensure your garden continues to ‘sing’ throughout the season.