June of course it follows May on the calendar, but in real gardening terms we will all be doing gardening jobs this month that we should have done in May - April even! June seems to be settling into early summer at last, but many things is the garden will need to catch up with it after one of the coldest spring in memory.
Nevertheless plants soon catch up - especially the hardy ones, so within a few days all will be back to normal, with a wealth of early flowering shrubs and perennials.
Many of the bedding plants that were bought and planted earlier in the year will not be so forgiving of the climatic conditions that they have had to endure. If they look too bedraggled, then replacement might seem the only option, but give them a few weeks of warm sunshine first.
This month should be clear of frosts, and the sun is at its strongest, so make sure that soil moisture is maintained, and weeds are suppressed early. Mulching when the ground is wet will conserve moisture as well as suppressing weeds.
With the hardy plants in the garden - and the lawn - everything will catch up and bring a few surprises - hopefully not bad ones!
Mow lawns regularly - but not too short now as we
approach the hot summer months. Regular mowing is one
of the key aspects of growing a good lawn. Most
gardeners make the mistake of mowing too short. Ok for
cricket wickets and bowling greens, but not for good
If the weather is very dry, set the mower blades to 2.5 cm high to allow the grass to grow a little longer. You will need to water the lawn when occasionally, so check out the condition of hoses and sprinklers. Do not feed lawns when the weather is hot!
Plenty of information about Lawns in our dedicated lawn section
all faded flowers from all plants regularly. This
prolongs flowering periods and also helps the plant
build up strength.
If you delayed planting summer bedding last month plant it now. Continue to watch for aphids and fungal diseases and spray accordingly.
If you have not already done so apply a general fertiliser. (Growmore, Fish Blood & Bone meal, or one of the many liquid plant feeds.
Roses should be given a rose fertiliser feed if not done earlier. Watch for aphids, mildew and black spot.
Continue to thin out hardy annuals that were sown
in-situ earlier on.
Tie in new shoots of climbing plants, before they find their own way about!
Hanging baskets will need watering at least once a day in hot weather. The water retentive gel crystals really do work.
Continue to protect plants from slugs and snails. Do not overdo the application of slug pellets. Just sprinkle lightly.
Spring Flowering Bulbs.. Don't be tempted to cut the dying foliage from the bulbs that should have given you so much pleasure! Allow it to die down naturally. That way it will give the bulb in the ground the energy to live through the summer, autumn and winter, and then burst into bloom next spring.
Most spring bulbs can be left in the ground, but tulips are best lifted and stored.
Protect ripening fruit from birds with nets.
After the June 'drop' of fruit, thin out any that remain overcrowded.
Continue to spray gooseberries against mildew.
Prune plum trees to reduce overcrowding and remove any damaged or diseased
Continue to harvest rhubarb, raspberries, blackcurrants and strawberries. If you are not able to do this, you may think about providing some plants ready for next year!
Trained apple trees can have side shoots cut back, also side shoots of
gooseberries and Currants
Harvesting blackcurrants is easier if you prune out some of the older branches
vegetables to ensure continual supplies.
Plant out leeks, winter cabbages, Brussels sprouts, sweetcorn, tomatoes, marrows
courgettes, ridge cucumbers; and celery.
Towards the end of the month try lifting a few early potatoes to see if they are ready. As an alternative, you can 'dust away' some of the soil, look for potatoes that are big enough for an early feast - leaving the 'titches' there; covered over with soil again, to grow on.
In the greenhouse continue feeding tomatoes and
other plants once a week.
Keep watering plants twice a day in hot weather and damp the floor and staging. Really important now never to allow the tomato plants to dry out, otherwise the the plant will be starved of lime - even momentarily, and you will end up with Blossom End Rot on your fruit.
Ventilate and shade.
Whitefly and other aphids, need to be kept under control.