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!
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.
IN THE VEGETABLE GARDEN
May is still a perfect month for planting asparagus, seed potatoes and the new autumn maturing rhubarb.
Sow vegetable seed outdoors. The warmer weather has raised the soil temperature meaning that seed will germinate quickly. Sow after the risk of frosts. Sow carrots, lettuce, peas, beetroot, french beans, runner beans,radish, spinach and turnips.
Earth up potatoes, once shoots have reached 23cm (9in) tall, earth up to prevent greening of potatoes.
Harvest asparagus spears when they are no more than 18cm tall.
Harvest rhubarb, picking only a third of the total amount of stems.
Harden off outdoor tomatoes, courgettes and pumpkins for planting early next month.
Plant out brassicas and leeks to their final positions.
Plant herbs in containers. Put them on your patio where they are easy to get to from your kitchen. Sow basil and coriander once all frosts have passed. Thyme, rosemary, parsley, chive, mint, sage, oregano are all hardy.
Weed around your onions and garlic to reduce competition for nutrients and water. Applying an onion fetiliser will boost growth.
Be vigilant with weeding – weeds will compete for precious water, light and nutrients.
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.
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!