June is officially the start of Summer and we can start looking forward to strawberries & cream and barbeques!
Gardens are full of colour at this time of year and cottage garden planting schemes are often at their best in June. Remember to keep deadheading to ensure a long blooming period. Even foxgloves and aquilegia benefit from deadheading and you will often get a second (and possibly third) flush if you don’t allow them to set seed.
Climbing plants will put on lots of growth over the next couple of months and will require regular tying in to keep them tidy. Don’t be afraid to remove shoots that are growing away from their support or are reaching past their allotted area.
Fruit on trees will be swelling now and the first plums and cherries may be ready to harvest at the end of this month. At the beginning of June you should thin out overcrowded fruitlets if they don’t drop naturally. This is important as the tree can focus energy on the remaining fruits and there is less likelihood of rotting due to lack of airflow.
Keep an eye out for pests and diseases and act as soon as you are aware. This is especially important in an organic garden as it is hard to get control at a later stage.
It’s not too late to sow courgettes and cucumbers as they will crop until the first frosts. Keep sowing crops such as lettuce, radish, carrots and turnips to ensure continual harvests. Tender beans such as French Beans and Runner Beans can be sown now but remember to protect them from slugs.
The RSPB recommends that we feed the birds all year round, but avoid feeding peanuts and bread at this time of year as they are not suitable for chicks. It is also a good idea to avoid fats as these will go rancid very quickly on hot days.
If you pond is becoming overgrown, June is the best time to clear it out. Just remember to leave the pond weed at the side of the pond for a day or two to allow all the creatures to crawl back.
Penny is the owner of SimplyGro, an eco-friendly on-line garden store, and is passionate about GYO and wildlife friendly gardening. www.simplygro.co.uk