The longest days of the year are wonderful – it gives us more time to enjoy the fruit of our gardening labours, and more time to keep working in the garden! It is very important to take stock of how your projects are coming along, the changes you’ve made and how successful they are, and also make notes for future planning.
With the extra hours of daylight, your garden will flourish and become bountiful. Unfortunately weeds make the most of this time too, and will appear from nowhere. It’s best to keep on top of this and hoe often to minimise weeds spreading.
Cut back any foliage left over from finished bulbs, and deadhead as much as you can. Stake and secure plants that start becoming a bit leggy or that need training onto a frame or trellis. Poppies can be cut right down to ground level after they’ve flowered, and this may encourage more poppies to appear. Prune those spring flowering shrubs (e.g. forsythia) and pinch the tips of fuchsias to encourage growth and new flowers.
Now’s the time for summer bedding and hanging baskets. Fuchsias, Geraniums and Petunias are great in hanging baskets, bringing bright bursts of colour to eye-level, and bedding plants can ‘complete’ the look of your garden. Whether you want organised, formal styles where you can plant in blocks or symmetrical patterns, or you fill in the gaps under medium or large plants and bushes, the choices are huge. Do come and talk to us if you want some ideas – maybe bring a photo of the area you want to fill?
You’ll probably already be eating some of the salad leaves you maybe growing, and some early potatoes. Try and pick just the leaves you need for that day to capture them at their best. You could also now be sowing beetroot, lemon coriander, carrots, peas and rocket for harvesting later.
June can often be a dry month – and with many flowers in bud or bloom, maintaining moisture levels is very important. Watering in the early morning is best, but if that’s not possible, in the evening is fine. Don’t try and water in the heat and high sun, as you’ll waste much of the water in evaporation. Be careful not to overwater areas where drainage isn’t good as undrained soil will cause damage to roots. Target your watering to the stem base or under the canopy of a plant – you don’t need to water all the soil around it (that extra water encourages those pesky weeds!).
Do keep an eye on your greenhouse temperature – use blinds if you have them or open vents to allow the too-warm air to escape. A clever way to up the humidity in a greenhouse is to dampen the floor regularly during the day. Greenhouse plants may need more space as they will be growing rapidly during the month.
If we get a few dry days, consider staining and preserving any wood structures and fencing – there are some great colour ranges available to add some interest to a standard fence. Clean and treat slabs and paving too.
Need some garden inspiration? We recommend a visit to Coughton Court, and the Walled Garden there. Some beautiful combinations and planting take place every year, with stunning results.