It’s all go in the garden this month! The bouts of warm sunshine and heavy showers are making everything grow with gusto. So, here’s a list of jobs if you’re trying to keep up with it all; or if you’re letting it descend into gentle chaos then sit back, enjoy the show and think about what you could be doing if you weren’t enjoying that G&T/ cuppa.
Keep on top of the weeds. A little weeding most days, even just for 5 minutes, makes a big difference to keeping bindweed, dandelions and other perennial weeds at bay.
Cut back foliage from bluebells and lift and divide them now they are dying down, but leave daffodil and tulip foliage a bit longer yet.
Keep deadheading flowers to promote new blooms, and thin out hardy annuals if you have overcrowded areas of planting.
Stake shrubs and perennials now, as they are reaching their peak, to save them from collapsing across paths or other plants.
Sow biennials now on your windowsill.
If you can bear to cut back all the glorious foliage and flowers in their prime, then a hard ‘chop’ of your hardy geraniums at the end of June will mean a fresh flush of late summer growth and prevent them taking over the borders and getting leggy.
In buckets and baskets…
Prune straggly growth from hanging baskets to encourage a more bushy habit. Keep baskets and tubs well watered, and consider feeding them occasionally to make sure the watering doesn’t leach all the goodness from the compost.
Place copper tape or a deterrant of your choice around tubs where slugs and snails are having a feast to discourage leaf damage.
Harvest salads and look out for early potates to lift.
Pinch out side shoots from tomato plants and keep an eye on garlic and onions – as their foliage turns brown they are ready to harvest
Plant out tender vegetables now the risk of frost has passed.
In the fruit borders…
Look out for strawberries as they ripen and peg down new runners to make more plants.
There is nothing worse than watching your ripening cherries/ berries etc being happily eaten by birds, so aim to set up netting or some form of deterrant before they ripen so you have half a chance of enjoying them for yourself!
The ‘June drop’ will begin to show in the evidence of fruitlets scattered beneath your apple and plum trees. Though this is a natural process, help it along by carefully thinning out fruitlets to encourage what remains to ripen well. For more advice on fruit thinning for specific trees see the RHS website.
Is there anywhere better than a warm greenhouse on a fine summer’s day? We may not all have ones as grand as this one (left), but if you’re in yours in June make sure to keep it ventilated so things don’t overheat or get too humid. Shade parts of the glass if it’s in a really hot sunny position and damp down the floor to cool the air, too.
Keep watch for slugs and snails and also mice which may also be enjoying the warm, fuggy and food-rich environment. Hang sticky fly traps inside, keep things tidy to avoid mice getting at seeds or seedlings, and check under pots and trays and remove any slugs you find.
If the weather is dry, cut your lawn on a high setting to avoid scalping the grass. Keep it well watered if this is possible (i.e. no hosepipe ban). Make sure to water and tend to newly laid lawn especially, so that it doesn’t die back or scorch.
Turn your compost bins to encourage even, active decomposition. Remove aphids, black and greenfly from plants in your preferred manner.
Trim box, yew and privet now whilst in active growth.
Look out for vine weevil and scarlet lily beetle and remove where you find them.
If you manage to do all or any of the above then it really is time to take a break and have that G&T/ cuppa.