Gardening tips


In the flower garden

Plant out the last of the summer bedding along with Cannas and Dahlias now that the last risk of frost has gone. Make sure they are well watered in and kept moist during any dry weather. It’s not too late to direct sow a few fast-growing late-flowering hardy annuals such as Calendula or Godetia. These are ideal for filling in gaps in herbaceous borders. Perennial Echinacea, Lupin and Poppies can be sown directly, ready for next year. Hellebore seed can be harvested once the seed heads have ripened, seed needs to be sown immediately and need a winter cold season in order to break their dormancy in order for germination to occur. Do remember that seed grown plants will differ from the parent plant.

It’s worth cutting back spring-flowering perennials as it encourages a fresh flush of foliage. Cutting back Oriental poppies to ground level can lead to new blooms. Euphorbias will also benefit from spent flowers being cut back. Pinching out the tips of Fuchsias will create a better shaped plant with more flowers. If any hanging basket plants have become leggy or misshapen, simply trim the excess off, this will encourage new bushy growth. As soon as sweet peas start to flower, keep picking them to encourage more blooms. Dead-head roses if they are repeat-flowering types, otherwise leave the seed heads for decoration. Towards the end of June, if your hardy Geraniums have finished flowering cut them back to encourage new foliage and flowers. Regular hoeing of borders will help prevent annual and perennial weeds from spreading and seeding themselves.

Lawns

Regular mowing of your lawn will keep it in good shape, (little and often gets the best results). Apply a high nitrogen summer lawn fertiliser if not done last month to encourage a healthy-looking lawn. Ensure any new lawns (either from turf or seed) do not dry out during hot/dry weather.

In the fruit & vegetable garden

Feeding, watering and supporting your fruit and veg is vital in June. Continue sowing salad crops such as beetroot, pak choi and radish. Leafy salad crops do better when sown in partially shady sites since hot dry weather can lead to bitter tasting leaves. Sow French, runner and broad beans, peas, squash, sweetcorn and outdoor cucumbers directly into prepared outside beds. Peppers can only be planted out when all risk of frost has passed, ideally beneath cloches. Pinch out any side shoots from your tomatoes and feed once the first truss is setting fruit. Continue to earth up potatoes as they grow. Harvest salad crops and resow every 2 weeks for a constant supply of tasty leaves. Harvest early potatoes, these are normally ready from 10 weeks after planting. Look out for onion and garlic leaves yellowing and dying back – this means they’re ready to harvest. Start to prune plum or cherry trees now. Although fruit trees will naturally shed some fruit (called the ‘June Drop’), aim to thin out congested branches further for bigger and better fruit. If you have plants fruiting in containers, make sure you give them a high potash liquid feed to keep plants healthy and productive. Peg-down runners on your strawberry plants to create more plants for next year. If you don’t need more plants, simply remove the runners completely.