What's happening in the garden now...

The page below lists the various tasks that Ben and the team will be completing in the garden this month. Split into four main sections the lists will hopefully help you structure​ and plan your own gardening work schedule...  so lets get busy

 

June 2020:

 

It’s June and summer is officially here! The days are long and light levels high, with the garden looking fresh and full. 

 

Just like plant growth this month, work in the garden begins to find a steady pace. It shifts focus from sowing seeds and planting, to aiding establishment and improving growth. As fruits form, hedges thicken and the summer perennials gather pace, whilst a spot of trimming, tidying, deadheading and weeding will help keep the garden at its very best. Whether you’ve got a few hours or just five minutes, every little bit helps!

General:

 

Continue to hoe off annual weed seedlings to prevent them setting seed and creating more work later in the season.

 

Top dress permanent plantings in pots and containers with fresh compost, alternatively apply granular or liquid feed.

 

Harden off and plant out the last of tender crops and ornamental plants, including bedding, containers and baskets if not already done so.

 

As Rose flowers fade, deadhead to keep plants looking tidy and encourage future blooms.

 

Begin the trimming of topiary and hedges to instantly smarten the appearance of the garden.

 

Watch out for excessive slug and snail damage on the fresh and young growth of many herbaceous perennials, treat accordingly if a problem.

 

Mow and edge lawns regularly to encourage a thick sward and tidy appearance, although in periods of dry weather raise the height of cut.

 

Keep drives and paths free from weeds to maintain a tidy appearance and reduce the residual seed bank.

 

Watch ponds and water features for problems with blanket weed or excessive algae growth and treat with biological controls.

Green House:

 

During hot days be sure to ventilate and damp down to reduce internal temperatures.

 

Water seedlings and young plants often to avoid causing stress and checking their growth.

 

Pot on and continue to grow Aubergines, Cucumbers, Melons, Peppers, Tomatoes and any other glass house crops, being sure to feed with a high potassium fertiliser as the first fruits set.

 

Lightly trim excessive growth on newly propagated and potted plants to encourage a bushy habit whilst improving light infiltration and air circulation.

 

Continue to start off French Beans, either in modules or alternatively sown direct outside, ensuring a longer harvest season.

 

Pick out any seedlings into modules to encourage future growth, best completed first thing in the morning when plants are fully turgid and keep out of direct sun for a few days.

 

Continue to sow herbs, salad leaves, lettuce and oriental brassicas for quick germination and a succession of harvesting.

 

Order and apply any biological control or cultural equipment for glass house pests.

 

Complete any soft tip cuttings from stock plants such as Dahlia, Pelargonium and Salvia.

 

Many non-hardy houseplants can be placed outside now for the summer months, taking advantage of the improved growing conditions.

 

If not already done so, apply shading to prevent the greenhouse overheating.

Production:

 

Plant out climbing Beans, Gourds, Pumpkins and Squashes, if not already done so. Water in well and if the soil is poor give them a mulch of well rotten compost.

 

Grow on and harvest any salad crops under protection tunnels or in the green house.

 

Plant out young vegetable plants and cut flowers that have been grown on under glass.

 

Earth up potatoes for a second time, taking the opportunity to knock down any weeds. Also check First Early varieties and begin harvesting if ready.

 

Begin summer pruning of soft fruit plants like Gooseberries and Currants, checking and re-tying trained forms whilst improving air and light conditions for the developing fruit. 

 

Apply a straw mulch to strawberries and net to prevent damage to the fruit as they form.

 

Stake cutting beds to provide support for flowers such as Asters, Delphiniums and Peonies, which are prone to snapping and damage.

 

Discontinue harvesting Rhubarb as the vigorous growth begins to slow down, apply an organic mulch or feed to ensure plants are strong for next year’s crop.

 

Thin rows of seedlings that have been sown direct, many of the discarded leaves including beetroot and chicory, can be used in salads.

 

Begin summer pruning trained forms of Apples and Pears, shortening all laterals back to 3-5 leaves. If establishing new plants shorten the framework/leader stems by one third of new growth and tie in to the desired position.

 

Feed and mulch fruit trees and bushes to ensure good growing conditions and crops for future years, though do not mulch right up to the main stem as this can cause damage to the plant.

 

Deadhead Anemone, Narcissus, Tulips and Ranunculus to promote larger bulbs and corms, which will improve growth and flower next year, also removing any dried or dead leaves.

 

Continue to direct sow Beetroot, Carrots, Fennel, French Beans, Lettuce, Peas, Radish, Rocket, Salad and Spring onion.

 

Lift old Tulips that will not be used for cutting next year and sow the empty space with quick growing annuals like Bupleurum rotundifolium, Calendula or Nigella, giving you a fresh crop for cutting late in the year.

 

Plant out tender annuals such as Callendula, Nasturtium and Tagetes that will act as companion plants, reducing pests whilst increasing visual interest in the vegetable plot.

 

Dead head and cut sweet peas regularly to ensure they continue flowering with long stems.

 

Net Cherry trees, strawberries, currants and gooseberries to protect young fruit from bird damage as they begin to ripen.

 

Keep an eye on the “June Drop” and begin thinning fruit like apples, grapes and peaches to increase quality and size.

Borders:

 

Grow on and plant any annuals such as Ageratum, Cosmos and Zinnia, which you may wish to add to the borders for a late summer display.

 

Plant any new additions to the borders, filling in gaps whilst increasing variety and interest.

 

If accessible tie in new growth of rambling roses to prevent stems snapping, these can be trained and re-tied later in the year.

 

Weed over and tidy the surface of any un-mulched borders to prevent establishment of weed seedlings, whilst creating a smart setting for floral displays.

 

List any additional spring flowering bulbs, such as Alliums, Narcissus or Tulips, which you may wish to add to the border this autumn.

 

Stake Dahlias and keep a watchful eye for slug and snail damage whilst they establish.  

 

In warm weather be sure to water in any new additions including summer annuals.

 

Prune early spring flowering shrubs to promote a good shape and encourage flowering for next spring.

 

Deadhead Roses and early flowering herbaceous like Brunnera, Iris and Lupin to keep the border looking tidy and promote continued flowering.

 

If not already done so, mulch borders after rainfall or irrigation to help reduce weed problems whilst improving moisture retention and soil quality.

For day-to-day and weekly updates of what is happening in the garden follow Ben on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using the links below.

WG

© 2020 by Benjamin William Pope. All rights reserved.

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