by Chris Feldon, Garthowen Garden Centre
April and May turned out to be almost rain free, and so the watch word for the coming months must be watering.
May was manic in the garden as usual and the lack of rain added to the jobs list. June marks the start of summer and the end of frosts, maybe a little less work and more enjoying the garden in the sunshine. The day length is over 16 hours this month so loads of daylight to get everything done.
Must do jobs for this month include Watering, weeding, feeding, mowing mulching borders to conserve moisture, sow catch crops of veg, hanging out your baskets in safety.
Pests have arrived in force and so regular spraying might be necessary, try to spray in the evening when the bees have gone to bed, and when its not windy. Keep a watch out for slugs and snails.
Lawns have a very stressful time in summer, but lawns don’t die in drought they always seem to come back when it rains and so don’t waste water by watering them. A
well fed lawn is much better at coping with stress, and its better to leave it longer between cuts when its very hot weather.
Most bedding plants are still available in the early part of the month but the bedding season started very early and so some things might be scarce. Baskets planted this month can go straight out but keep up with the watering - the bigger the baskets the easier it is to care for. If you are going on holiday put your baskets in the shade of the house and get your friends to water it.
How about planting a patio pot full of your favourite herbs to grow near the BBQ so you can use them fresh when you cook.
In the greenhouse water the path on hot days to increase the humidity and aid fruit setting.
General Garden Prune late spring and early summer flowering shrubs immediately after flowering to promote new growth. Deadhead Sweet Peas to increase the flowering season, and feed every 10 days or so.
Deadhead Roses and feed regularly, to encourage repeat flowering. Tie in new shoots on climbing and rambling roses.
Feed perennials and shrubs with a granular fertiliser such as chicken pellets or growmore and hoe into the soil this can be done whilst weed hoeing. Treat any serious
outbreaks of pests and diseases.
Remove faded flowers on Delphiniums and Lupins. This may encourage a second flowering, and get rid of the aphids that always seen to collect on fading lupin flowers. Tie tall flowering herbaceous perennials to supports such as canes. Trim spring flowering Heathers to remove flower heads and to keep in shape.
Water newly planted shrubs and perennials in dry conditions.
Walk around the garden regularly and pull out weeds as they appear rather than digging or hoeing which encourages the soil to dry out.
Patio This is great weather to spray patios and wooden furniture with Patio Magic. This product kills green algae on surfaces without the need to scrub or rinse and then goes on working for months.
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