Top tips for June 2016
So where has the first half of the year gone? It doesn’t seem five minutes ago that we were preparing for Christmas! June sees the longest day of the year, on Tuesday 21, and with the extended daylight hours and the warmth from the sun, the garden is now flourishing so there’s plenty to do to keep you busy.
First sort out your bulbs. Cut back bulb foliage that has died back naturally, and lift and divide overcrowded clumps of bulbs. Now you have tidied up you beds, and the risk of frost has passed, it’s time to get planting summer bedding.
Begonias are very versatile summer bedding plants. They come in a wide range of colours, are ideal for beds and hanging baskets, can be upright or trailing, flower all summer long until the first frosts and thrive in the sun or shade. What more could you want from a plant?
Another firm favourite is the sweet pea with its gloriously scented, brightly coloured flowers. Put them towards the back of beds and boarders where they will happily scramble up wigwams or netting or for ground cover choose the dwarf sweet pea. And if you want to attract bees into your garden then cosmos is the plant to go for providing a source of late nectar for pollinating insects.
Harvest time has begun! Salad crops are in full swing now – resow every two weeks for a constant supply of tasty leaves throughout the summer – and early potatoes will be ready 10 weeks after planting, delicious! Look out for yellowing leaves on onion and garlic plants. It’s no bad thing, it means they’re ready to harvest.
If you’ve forgotten to plant runner beans, don’t worry, there’s still time, just plant them directly into the ground. Tender veg, such as courgettes, tomatoes and squash, can be planted out now that the threat of frost has passed. And on the topic of courgettes, spread a good layer of mulch around them and other thirsty crops, such as beans, to help retain moisture around the roots. Give us a call, or visit our online shop, if you would like a dumpy bag of mulch delivered to your door.
If we get a prolonged dry spell, set the mower blades a little higher to reduce stress on the grass and remember to give the lawn a water too, particularly newly seeded or turfed areas. Weeds love the warmer weather and will sprout up almost overnight. Keep them in check with a lawn weed killer.
Things you can be getting on with this month…
- Support tall perennials, such as foxgloves, hollyhocks and delphiniums with canes.
- Prune wisteria cutting long sideshoots back to 20cm. It will promote flowering next spring.
- Cover ripening fruit with netting so that the birds can’t feast on your crop before you do.
- Keep an eye on roses for disease such as blackspot, mildew or rust and treat accordingly.
- Check for vine weevils by tipping plants out of their pots. ‘C’ shaped, creamy maggots among the roots will give the game away and should be treated with nematodes.
- Turn compost in your compost bins every month to keep it aerated and speed up decomposition.
- Keep birdbaths topped up with water.