Well! Hasn’t this weather been fabulous! Finally, the summer weather has arrived.
June is normally the time to plant out bedding plants and they are such a huge part of an English Summer Garden. You can create your stunning flower beds, planters and hanging baskets to fill your garden with colour, using plants such as Petunias, Geraniums, Lobelias and Fuchsias.
Roses are now in their prime, so you need to make sure to deadhead your roses at least once a week to prolong flowering. This helps to stimulate new side shoots that will grow new flower buds to extend the flowering season.
Around the middle of June is the best time to prune back all this year’s new shoots on your Wisteria. They produce flowers on new growth that emerge from spurs off the main shoots. Cut the shoots back to a spur leaving around 6 inches of growth. This is also the perfect opportunity to tidy and tie in your Wisteria so that there are no loose or trailing shoots.
Your apple and pear tree’s may now deposit lots of small fruits onto the ground, don’t worry this is completely normal. This is known as the ‘June Drop, where your trees are reducing the amount of fruit they carry, to successfully ripen those that remain. To ensure you get the best fruit from your trees, it is a good idea to remove the smallest fruit before your tree does this for you.
Sow biennials in a seed tray or pots so that they can grow strong roots and foliage before you can plant them where you want them to grow in the autumn. Wallflowers, Honesty, Foxgloves, Aquilegias, and other biennials differ from annuals as they develop foliage and roots in one season and flower in the next.
It is now safe to plant out all remaining vegetables, as the risk of frost has normally passed by now. But still try to plant tender vegetables such as cucumbers, squashes, and courgettes in sheltered areas.
Remember vegetables and fruit that are planted or seeded together, will be ready at the same time. So, to avoid gluts, you should plant them at fortnightly intervals. Remember to consider what and where you are growing. The growing season in the south of the country is longer than in the north and fast-growing vegetables like lettuces can be grown later in the month, unlike squashes which need the whole season to grow.
Wherever and whatever you are planting, there will always be weeds and in some cases, it is hard to tell the difference between seedlings and weeds. One of the ways to combat this it to plant in straight lines, as weeds do not grow in straight lines. To make it even easier to get rid of the weeds, plant your rows wide enough to get a hoe in between. It allows you to easily run the hoe over the ground to remove the weeds.
If you are growing potatoes, you need to ensure they are watered regularly in dry spells. Depending on the weather and your planting times some potatoes maybe ready for harvesting now. Potatoes will not be ready until after they have flowered, you can also check by carefully removing the soil and seeing if they are the correct size. If they are too small just cover them back over and check again in a few more weeks.
Also remember to protect your crops from hungry animals like those pesky pigeons by using nets and mesh supported by frames. They love to feed on strawberries, new onion and garlic growth and Brassica among others. Make sure you keep some for yourselves!
But most importantly enjoy your garden! Spend the longer evenings sitting and taking in the beautiful garden you have created. It is now at its best, with plants in their full summer foliage and blooms.
Willie the Worm