Gardening Hints and Tips for June
By Brogdale’s Sirplantalot!
Apples will naturally thin their crop in early June – the ’June Drop’. After this they should be thinned by hand to one or two fruits per cluster. This helps to get even sized healthy fruit and can avoid biennial bearing with a heavy crop one year and none the next.
With it being very dry at the moment consider mulching with any well rotted organic matter you can obtain. Water the ground thoroughly first and apply your mulch 2 inches deep and not touching stems of plants.
It’s not too late for the ‘Chelsea chop’ (so called because it is done around the time of the Chelsea Flower show – late flowering herbaceous perennials that flop should have some or all of their growth cut back by up to a half. Leaving some unchopped means you extend the period of flowering. Sedum are a good example and look much better if given the ‘chop’.
Dead head roses unless they are species ones to ensure a longer display. Feed with a proprietary rose feed after the first flush of flowers. Remove any leaves with disease on and burn or green bin them. This helps to stop spores of diseases spread.
Weeding is essential now even if you just dead head. Remove by hand or use a proprietary weedkiller. Organic ones containing Pelargonic or acetic acid are worth trying. Mulching will also reduce weeds and help you to see them more clearly.
Hanging baskets and planters will need regular watering. Do not water onto the leaves as this can lead to disease or scorch on hot days. Remember to fluff up the surface compost on these planters as the soil forms a cap and water can just run to the sides and disappear through the bottom.
It’s not too late to prune spring flowering shrubs such as Forsythia and flowering currant now. Remove all damaged and crossing material and take up to a third of the material off. These can look more natural if they are thinned by one in three stems to the base rather than ‘lollipopped’.
You can still plant containerised shrubs and herbaceous perennials but good ground preparation will be needed. Water the hole thoroughly; soak the rootball and mulch after planting. They will need to be monitored throughout the summer even if we do get some rain.
Irises can be divided after flowering and replanted immediately. Make sure each division has a firm piece of rhizome (base) and leaves. Cut the leaves to about 1/3rd of length to stop windrock.
Monitor for pest and disease on your walks and take action if appropriate. Simply wiping off aphids with kitchen towel will help keep them under control whilst leaving some food for the good guys. Chemicals should be a last not a first response.
Most importantly enjoy your garden and be proud of it!