It is very tempting to say that being in the garden this month is a delight and everything that needs to be done is self-evident. In the main that is true, but just in case you need a bit of an aide memoire, here are a list of garden jobs to do in the month of June.
Watering – Despite the recent spell of wet weather, we will need a LOT of rain to get moisture levels in the soil even a few inches down back to normal. Just in case that does not happen, and looking at the forecast it probably won’t, remember that newly planted trees and shrubs find it harder to access moisture in the soil than when they are established and so they will need a helping hand.
When you water do it properly. A lot of water at long intervals is very much better than little and often.
By June, the bare root season is over but you can still buy potted plants to fill any gaps that may appear through the season – if you do just make sure that they are kept well watered until they are established! You can tell when this happens as the plant tends to put on a spurt of growth as its roots move into new soil. Deciduous plants here include copper or green Beech or Hornbeam, or for evergreen hedging Laurel, Eleagnus or Griselinia are all excellent options. If you are creating a formal garden then pot grown Yew and Box are also available.
Fast growing evergreen hedges such as Privet, Shrub Honeysuckle and Cotoneaster need to be clipped up to three times a year top keep them in shape. So if they are starting to look a little untidy they can be clipped now.
Here are some other jobs to do this month.
- Cut back early flowering shrubs after flowering.
- Cut back early flowering herbaceous plants after flowering to 2-3″ from the ground to encourage fresh growth.
- Repeat flowering roses should be deadheaded to encourage new blooms. If you did not do this in spring, then now is also a good time to give your roses a feed too with a good rose feed.
- Keep weeding and deadheading to maintain beds, borders and container displays. Remember to weed underneath your hedges too! Especially newly planted ones as weeds compete for moisture and can kill your plants as a result.
- Water new and young plants as necessary. Keep tree ferns moist (spray the trunks of tree ferns regularly to prevent fronds from drying out in warm dry weather).
- Keep an eye on the vigorous new growth of climbers such as Jasmine, Clematis or Roses and tie in to their supports if necessary.
- Cut back the dead foliage of bulbs in your borders and start mowing where they grow in grass. If you can replant them straight away lift and divide any clumps that are getting overcrowded or mark them with a cane for lifting and dividing this autumn.
- Keep a look out for pests and suckers on roses. Blackspot, rust and mildew can be treated with the application of a fungus killer.
- Apply grease bands to young fruit trees or paint grease strips on to larger trees to protect crops from damage caused by earwigs and ants. Although it does not say so on the pot, fruit tree grease is brilliant at keeping earwigs off almost anything.
- Sow seeds of perennials.
- Plant out summer bedding in borders and containers, including hanging baskets.
- Sow plants for winter and spring colour.
- Mow the lawn and trim edges regularly. Add at least some clippings to your compost heap. But be careful; mix them with other vegetable matter or the heap can become slimy and smelly.
- Give tired lawns a boost with liquid feed, and water new lawns made in the spring.
- Introduce new fish into the pond.
- Remove blanket weed and duckweed to prevent them clogging up water features.
- Harvest vegetables as they mature.
- Plant out aubergine, tomato, pepper, squash, courgette.
- Pinch out growing tips of runner beans when they reach the top of their support.
- Tie in tomatoes as they grow.
- Plant winter brassicas, and protect them from pests.
- Keep fruit and vegetables well watered in dry spells.
- Shade and ventilate plants in the greenhouse.
- Last chance to plant new plants before the summer heats up.
But most important of all, make time to enjoy your garden while it is at its best!
There are also some lovely gardens to visit at this time of year.
Abbey House Gardens, Malmesbury, Wiltshire
Batsford Arboretum, Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire
Cranborne Manor, Wimborne, Dorset
Painswick Rococo Garden, Stroud, Gloucestershire