Rose Blossom

June in Your Garden

The danger of frost will have passed in all areas, so it’s safe to plant tender flowers and veg outdoors; keep them well watered while they settle into their new homes. After the hectic months of spring, the garden starts to settle into its summer routine in June, with regular lawn mowing, watering, weeding and deadheading.

Essential gardening jobs

  • Deadhead your roses - As the flowers naturally fade and begin to die, snap them off at the first leaf below them. This will not only keep your plant looking tidy but will also encourage it to produce more blooms. Doing it this way is proven to make reflowering on repeat roses quicker.
     

  • Trim hedges - By now, many hedges will have soft, fuzzy new growth softening their outline and will need a trim. However, before you begin, check if there are any active birds’ nests in the hedge. This is very important as it’s illegal to disturb them. If you do find an active bird’s nest, then wait a month or so for them to leave before you trim the hedge. Some stronger-growing hedges, such as leylandii, may need to be trimmed more than once during the season to keep them looking neat.
     

  • Mow the lawn regularly - Mowing the lawn once a week is the key to an easy life, as then the grass will never get long and tufty, which just makes it harder to cut. Keep your grass green for longer during dry weather by raising the height of the mower blades so it leaves the grass a bit taller. Cutting the grass super-short will put it under strain and turn it brown and dry. Trim hard-to-cut grass around obstacles, such as a swing or bench, with a grass trimmer. Look for a trimmer recommended for grass as powerful one designed for cutting brambles will be hard to control for a neat finish. To avoid your grass clippings turning into a slimy mess in the compost bin, mix in a spadeful of soil every time you add them. Finally, give your lawn a feed as the spring feed will be running out.
     

  • Watch out for pests - Pests are out in force this month as plants are growing. Try not to spray them as you could inadvertently kill pollinating insects such as bees. As well as treating existing pests, you can also take measures now to prevent those that can be a problem later in the year, such as plum moth. 
     

  • Plum moth- Put up a pheromone trap to prevent maggots in your plums when you harvest them later in the summer. 
     

  • Pear midge – This causes the baby fruits to drop early because it burrows into pears in spring. Pick up any fruits you find on the ground and dispose of them. 

  • Lily beetle- These black grubs and red beetles can quickly strip the leaves and flowers of lilies, so remove any you find. 
     

  • Aphids- These sap-sucking insects will suddenly proliferate and can weaken your plants, as well as possibly giving them a virus. Squash them as soon as you see them.
     

  • Care for veg - Sow lettuce and beetroot in module trays so you have plants ready to fill the gap when you lift early crops, such as potatoes and spring onions. Pull up spinach and coriander when they begin to flower (bolt), which they naturally do as the day length increases at this time of year. You can sow them again in August for crops from autumn to spring. Remove the shoots that appear between the main stem of tomato plants and their leaves (side-shoots). Doing this will channel the plant’s energy into making flowers and fruit. Water veg as needed; rather than doing it every day, wait until the surface looks dry and then give it a decent amount. 

 

 

Sowing and planting

  • Continue sowing salad crops, such as beetroot, lettuce, pak choi and radish. Leafy salad crops may 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 beds outside.

  • French beans are best sown in rows, 45cm (18in) apart, at 15-22cm (6-9in) spacing.

  • Sweetcorn works best planted in blocks, at least 45cm (18in) spacing, with two seeds per hole. Any seeds sown earlier under cover can now be planted out into the same block pattern. Sow before mid-June.

  • Runner beans need well-prepared ground and suitable supports (often a frame, or wigwam of bamboo canes tied together with twine) for the shoots to twist around and grow upwards.

  • Courgettes, marrows and pumpkins can still be sown outdoors in early June in southern areas.

  • Although most winter brassicas need to be sown earlier in the season, calabrese, turnips and kohl rabi can be sown now for an autumn crop.

  • Celeriac and celery can be planted out early this month. A well-prepared site with lots of organic matter dug in is essential.

  • Outdoor ridge cucumbers can be planted out early this month. They benefit from a site that has been enriched with lots of organic matter to help retain water.

  • Plant vegetables sown indoors earlier in the season, including winter brassicas and sweet peppers. Peppers can only be planted out when all risk of frost has passed, and ideally beneath cloches.

  • Gaps between winter brassica plants can be used for quick-maturing catch crops, perhaps radishes or gem lettuces.

  • Plant out artichokes that were previously sown under cover. They can be grown as perennials (in which case they need 90cm spacing), or as biennials (45cm spacing is sufficient).

  • Transplant outdoor melons under cloches, pinching out the growing point.

  • Move forced strawberries outdoors.


    Pruning and training

  • Continue training fan-trained trees.

  • Pull off suckers appearing around the base of fruit trees.

  • Pinch prune figs.

  • Thin pears, plums, peaches, nectarines and apricots. Apples should be thinned at the end of the month.

  • Train in new shoots of blackberries and hybrid berries.

  • Summer prune red and white currants and gooseberries.

  • Shorten newly planted raspberry canes once new shoots are produced.

  • Summer prune kiwifruit and indoor grapes.

 

Pest and Disease

  • Keep an eye out for asparagus beetles and their larvae.

  • Pinching out the top of broad beans once the lowest flowers have set will help prevent aphid attack.

  • Look out for flea beetles on brassicas.

  • Ward off carrot fly by covering plants with a fine woven plastic mesh like Enviromesh.

  • Slugs pose a threat, especially to newly planted seedlings and slug controls are necessary now.

  • Pick yellowing leaves off brassicas promptly to prevent spread of grey mould and brassica downy mildew.

  • Damping off of seedlings can be a problem both outside and in containers.

  • Deal with red spider mite, whitefly, codling moth and plum moth and raspberry beetle.

  • Net cherries against birds, keep protection in place for all soft fruit.

  • Look out for shothole on tree fruit, especially stone fruit – a sign of possible disease infection.

 

 

 

General care

  • Change the feed for pot-grown fruit to a high potassium liquid one.

  • Peg down strawberry runners and remove cloches from outdoor strawberries once cropped.

  • Water blueberries, cranberries and lingonberries regularly with rainwater. Use tapwater when butts run dry.

  • Water and feed indoor melons daily once they are established and plant into growing bags in a heated greenhouse.

  • Avoid using insecticides on crops when they are in flower.

  • Make sure fruit isn’t drought stressed, especially if they are in containers, against a wall or newly planted.

 

Vegetables

  • Regularly feed ridge cucumbers with a liquid tomato feed, following the instructions given.

  • Peas need staking with pea sticks, netting or pruned garden twigs.

  • Continue to earth up maincrop potatoes.

  • Do not harvest asparagus spears from crowns less than two years old.

  • Hoe between rows on hot days to make sure weeds dry up and die without re-rooting or they will compete for moisture and nutrients. Weedkiller might kill or damage your crops as well as the weeds.

  • Water tomatoes and peppers regularly to prevent blossom end rot – a symptom of calcium deficiency due to erratic water supply.

Gardeners Digest by Brewin Dolphin with Paul Hervey-Brookes 2021