June gardening tips
The days in June are long and the weather is warm. Sit in the sunshine with your favourite drink and enjoy all your hard work!
Hoe borders to prevent annual and perennial weeds from spreading and seeding themselves.
Water plants regularly. Ideally water plants early in the morning, to avoid evaporation loss during the day. On warm summer days, evening watering is also likely to be effective, the dry soil soaking it in readily and low humidity at night reducing risk of disease. Water with rain, grey or recycled water wherever possible.
Position summer hanging baskets and containers outside
Mow lawns at least once a week
Plant out summer bedding and seed-raised plants..
Cut back dead bulb foliage if not done already. It is important to wait until the foliage dies down naturally, as cutting back too early can lead to blindness next year.
Cutting back clumps of spring-flowering perennials can encourage a fresh flush of foliage.
Prune spring-flowering shrubs
Sprinkle fertiliser around perennials, shrubs and roses.
Deadhead and cut back Oriental poppies after flowering. Cutting them close to ground level will stimulate new foliage.
Towards the end of June, if your hardy Geraniums have finished flowering cut them back to encourage new foliage and flowers.
Harvest flower heads from your Lavender plants to use in baking or as a garnish to your meals!
IN THE GREENHOUSE
Shade greenhouses to keep them cool and prevent scorch
All crops to be grown in the greenhouse should be in their final positions by now, either planted in the ground or in large pots. These include tomatoes, cucumber, sweet pepper (capsicum), chillies and aubergines.
Start feeding tomato plants and other container-grown vegetables
Once the first flowers have set on the tomatoes, start feeding once a week with a high potash liquid tomato feed. Other plants that benefit from a regular feed are sweet peppers, chillies, cucumbers and all vegetables grown in containers or grow bags.
Damp down the floor of the greenhouse regularly on hot days, to increase humidity levels. This benefits plant growth and also reduces the risk of pest problems such as glasshouse red spider mite. Give plants a liquid feed to encourage flowering and fruiting.
Continue to harden off half-hardy bedding plants to acclimatise them to outdoor conditions.
WILDLIFE & PONDS
Clean and top up birdbaths regularly, especially in warm dry weather.
Remove duckweed from ponds, adding the weed to your compost bin.
IN THE VEGETABLE GARDEN
Harvest lettuce, radish, other salads and early potatoes.
Broad beans will be ready this month. Pick them while they are still small and tender. Crunchy young carrots can be pulled up, thinning your crop for larger carrots later in the year. Salad crops and peas will also be ready.
Sow Kale, Calabrese, purple sprouting broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower to use over winter and early next year. They can either be sown under cover or in an outside seedbed, before being transplanted to their final position later in the year.
Just like your vegetables, the weeds are in full growth now. Regular hoeing between rows will keep them down. Pick out weeds around your vegetable plants carefully so as not to disturb the roots of your veg. If your patch has been well dug then the weeds normally come up pretty easily.
This is a time when pests suddenly become more apparent. It is easy to spot blackfly on broad bean, french bean and runner bean plants. Squish them between your fingers or spray with horticultural soap. When you see ants running up and down your plants it is a telltale sign that there are aphids about. Pests like weeds too, so make sure you weed regularly and thoroughly.
Runner beans may need a bit of help to start climbing. Just twist them around the poles to get them started. Provide twigs and sticks for peas to hold onto. Tie in any other plants that need supporting, such as tomatoes.
Towards the end of the month, sow another batch of french beans, peas, runner beans and courgette to plant out later in the summer as space becomes available. This will maximise your growing season, and mean you will be harvesting into October!
Vegetables need plenty of water in order to grow. If the weather is dry, water frequently. The best time to do this is either early in the morning or later in the evening when there will be less evaporation. Keeping the soil moist for crops like courgette, cucumber, peas, and pumpkins can also limit the damage caused by powdery mildew.
All frosts should have passed by now, so plant out all tender crops that you have raised under cover, such as cucumbers, sweetcorn, french and runner beans.
Once we’ve reached the longest day, stop cutting your Asparagus and leave the spears to develop into tall ferny growth. Fertilise once you have stopped harvesting.
IN THE FRUIT GARDEN
Protect Strawberries from birds, as they will eat your strawberries before they are fully ripe! Protect your strawberries using netting or horticultural fleece.
Protect Cherries from birds and rain. Rain on the fruit can cause the skins to split, so protect using polythene covers suspended above the tree. To stop the birds eating your cherries, cover the branches with fleece “sleeves”.
Propagate your own Strawberries. Strawberry plants will start throwing off runners. Peg down the small plants at the end of the runners into some potting compost, and leave until the roots are established before cutting from the main plant.
Support Raspberry canes. As your raspberry canes grow, depending on the support system you are using, tie them to your wires, or ensure they are growing up through your wires.
Water all soft fruit regularly, all soft fruit requires plenty of water to ensure good cropping, especially if they are grown in containers.
Citrus trees can be moved outside for the summer months. Choose a warm sheltered spot that receives plenty of sunshine. Thin out the fruits to leave a few of the strongest.
Thin the fruit on pear trees, plum trees, peach and nectarine trees, apricot trees.
Thin apples towards the end of the month.