Gardening Jobs for June
As everything in the garden settles into summer, it’s time for maintaining and outdoor planting. Here’s what needs doing in the garden this month to make sure it always looks its best.
With all the wet, warm weather, grass is growing like there’s no tomorrow. Keep it looking gorgeous with regular, weekly mowing. Feed it according to the instructions on the packet of whichever lawn feed you’re using, and remember to trim the edges for a really neat look.
Regular deadheading this month will encourage roses to carry on blooming. Remove the faded heads by snapping them off. Traditional advice was always to cut just above a leaf, but more recent thoughts indicate that just taking off the head itself encourages the plant to flower again more quickly.
Thin Out Fruit on Trees
Fruit trees naturally drop some of their growing fruit around now, but some help may be needed to give others room to grow to a good healthy size:
• Plums: thin them out to around 5cm apart
• Pears: you don’t want more than two fruits per cluster, which need to be around 15cm apart
• Apples: these too, need thinning, but have just one fruit per cluster. How far apart depends on the variety, but allow around 20cm for cooking apples and 15cm for dessert apples.
Tomatoes need their sideshoots regularly pinching out to encourage strong growth.
Many spring flowering shrubs also need pruning now, when they’ve finished flowering.
Frosts are well behind us and the soil is nice and warm, so now’s the time to get on with direct sowing of vegetable seeds. Veg you can plant outdoors in June includes celery, courgettes, tomatoes, marrows, summer cauliflowers, sweetcorn and winter brassicas.
Indoors, sow lettuce, peas, radish, runner beans, beetroot, carrots, and turnips.
Continue to harvest early salad leaves as well as others that are ready about now including radish and early potatoes.
Flower Beds and Other Flowers
Flower borders need regular hoeing to keep weeds down, and you should certainly make sure all weeds are gone before planting out summer bedding.
Some flowering plants will now be tall enough to stake, and will thrive longer if they’re given the support they need.
Plant up hanging baskets, or move them outside if you prepared them in the greenhouse earlier. Do the same with containers and decorative tubs. Don’t forget to water them, especially if baskets are hanging in sheltered areas.
Remember the Compost
Vigorously growing plants provide plenty of material for the compost heap or bin.
• Keep the mix healthy by adding equal amounts of clippings and prunings with shredded paper, wood chipping or flower stalks.
• Don’t let the inside of your bin get wet. It should be moist but not dripping.
• Regularly turning the contents encourages faster composting. Try to turn once a week. Another tip is to add a shovel of soil whenever you add grass clippings.
If you don’t have space in the garden to set aside for a compost heap or bin to make your own, ready made bought compost does the job of feeding the soil just as well.
‘Little and often’ is the mantra for June gardening, allowing plenty of time to sit back and relax while nature does her job.