JuneThe garden is in full swing now and will need a few tweaks here and there to keep it performing into the next half of the summer. There are a few jobs to be completed now which won’t take you long but can make the difference between an adequately performing plant and one which is a star performer in the garden.
•Watering is one of the most important jobs this month.... hopefully it is a "flaming" June.
•Weeding, anything you missed last month, remember "one year's seed seven years weed" so at the very least take of any flower heads before they get a chance to set seed. Hoe over smaller annual weeds on a dry day leaving them to shrivel up in the sun, a quick and easy way of stopping them in their tracks.
•Continue dead heading to keep those blooms coming.
•Cut back Oriental Poppies now, flower head and foliage, water mulch and they will flush up again and may even reward you with some new flowers.
Euphorbias will benefit from having their flowering stems cut back at this time of the year June/July. It is useful to know that evergreen Euphorbia's like Amydaloides var Robbiae, Wulfenii and Martinii flower best on second year growth so cut back the flowered stems to the ground leaving the stems which have no flowers. It will produce new flowering stems for next year and this will help stop them getting leggy and woody. Deciduous Euphorbia such as Griffithii "Fireglow" and "Polychroma" come back fresh every year so cut them back hard when you feel they are past their best.
!! It is very important to wear gloves and long sleeves when cutting Euphorbia, they give off a milky sap which can cause nasty swelling and soreness if it comes into contact with the skin. Take particular care not to get it near your mouth or eyes and keep children and animals away for a few hours until the stems have sealed over!!
•Many flowering plants are heading for their second flush of flowers Roses in particular give them an extra push with a second feed now of one of the slow release fertilizers such as ‘Vitax Q4’ or one of the Rose feeds i.e. ‘David Austin’ or ‘Top Rose’. You can give reluctant flowerers a dose of a high potash feed like Tomorite this promotes flowering, summer flowering Clematis benefit from this especially.
•Prune back shrubs which have finished flowering, Philadelphus, Deutzia, Kolwitzia and Weigelia for example. For more detail on this see May's entry.
•If you want to keep your Ceanothus looking tidy a light annual trim after flowering will achieve this. Evergreen Ceanothus do not respond well to hard pruning and can take years to recover so it is worth giving them a trim now. It is also worth knowing that, as with many other evergreen shrubs, they don’t tend to re- grow from cuts into woody bare stems. Deciduous varieties can take much harder pruning.
•Viburnum tinus can be cut back now it has a tendency to outgrow its allotted space and it can be trimmed into very attractive shapes if done now.
•Pyracantha can have another trim now, cut off any longer stems extending beyond the framework.
•You can still plant potted trees and shrubs but be aware they are in full growth so will need a good drink once a week to help them establish.
•Prune any tree or shrub in the Prunus family this month, this includes Plum, Apricot, Peach basically any of the stone fruits.
•Magnolias can also be pruned now, they are not keen on being pruned during the winter months and can succumb to die-back then.
•Be aware that any shrubs or trees planted since last autumn will still be trying to establish their root system to future proof it so any help you can give them by watering will be gratefully received.
•Look out for the Viburnum beetle this month, it has become more widely spread in recent years and it will start to nibble the leaves of Viburnum tinus and V. Opulus around now, at first sight spray with an insecticide or pick the grubs off by hand. Organic sprays can be used, be sure to spray directly onto the grub as this is how it works best, they are quite visible at this stage and early intervention is key to keeping the ravenous population at bay.
•Pinch out the side shoots on your Tomato plants to let in light and increase fruiting potential, it also helps to prevent infections.
•You can start to harvest the fruits of your labour, Radishes, early Potatoes and Salad leaves can all be enjoyed now.
•If you are concerned about Carrot fly then you can put on a fleece tent now or plant Tagetes (French marigold) or Chives nearby to put them off the scent. They fly very close to the ground so ensure any fleece is secured at ground level.
•This is the month of the famous June drop when fruit trees will drop any fruit they feel unable to support. Once this is over thin out any excess fruit particularly on Plum trees which can have very heavy crops which cause boughs to break risking the health of the tree.
•With newly planted fruit trees and those in their second year in your garden remove the fruit so the tree can concentrate on root establishment. It sounds harsh but you will get a stronger more productive tree in the long run.
- Give your annual flower s like pelargoniums lobelia and petunias a boost with some tomato food like ‘Tomorite’ it is high in the flower promoting element Potash. As is the ‘Vitax Q4’ flower and fruit feed.
- If you have Shrubs in pots especially Box make sure they do not dry out. Box can die extremely quickly if this happens. A good long drink once a week or once every two if the weather is duller will keep them green. A dousing with liquid seaweed as a foliar feed will really perk them up too.
- Dead- heading annual bedding is as beneficial as dead-heading Perennials and shrubs, so give them a regular check and trim as needed.
•If it is very warm and dry set the mower blades higher to reduce stress on the lawn.
•You can apply a liquid feed, giving it a good drink at the same time.
Use plant protection products safely. Always read the label and product information before use.
Click on one of the other months below to see what you can look forward to