June is the month where flowers really come into their own; roses, lavender, geraniums, poppies, bearded iris, clematis…the list goes on. The colours are set against a backdrop of verdent foliage, still full of the freshness of spring growth.
In the vegetable garden the salad crops are ready to harvest and with a bit of warm sun the strawberries ripen perfectly. Just in time for Wimbledon hopefully!
Amongst the borders and beds…
Keep hoeing the weeds to keep them down.
Plant out summer bedding and position baskets and window boxes.
Prune spring flowering shrubs once the flowers have gone over.
Stake tall plants and herbaceous perennials before they get too tall to prevent them collapsing.
Mow lawns weekly and edge them, as this really improves the look of the garden when the borders are over-flowing.
Keep deadheading to promote more flowering.
Lift and divide bluebells once the leaves have yellowed.
Cut back hardy geraniums at the end of June after flowering to encourage a second flush of growth.
Harvest lettuce and radish and pinch out side shoots on tomatoes.
Direct sow brassicas for winter harvests.
Put straw or horticultural fleece under strawberries.
Sow runner and French beans.
Keep earthing up potatoes.
Protect carrots from carrot fly with horticultural fleece.
Use water wisely – water butts are a great investment.
Thin out apple fruits once the ‘June drop’ has slowed down; this promotes strong growth in the remaining fruits and avoids branches breaking under too much weight. For more information on ‘fruit drop’ see the RHS pages for advice.
Compost corner and other jobs…
Care for your compost. At this time of year the compost bin can fill up quickly with grass clippings (which are nitrogen rich) , but for the best compost you need to have a good mix of carbon-rich clipping too, such as flower stalks, woody material and shredded card or paper.
Damp down the greenhouse floor in hot weather, and open doors and vents.
Keep an eye on your pond if you have one. Clear pond weed and debris to keep the water clear. If you notice mosquito larvae in your pond, consider having a small fountain to agitate the water’s surface, as mosquitos prefer still, shady water to lay their eggs in.
Be it lemonade – or something stronger – take time to sit down with a drink and enjoy the garden this month, while it’s at its finest.