Gardening Jobs for June
June is one of my absolute favourite months in the garden, as everything is growing like crazy, and you can actually see the changes in growth and the flowers opening each day that goes by! Charlie and I have been loving our evening walks through the garden, as it provides a calm moment at the end of the day to see how everything is doing, and to appreciate our beautiful garden. At this time of year, when we are grateful for any rain to refresh our blooms and veg, one of the main jobs is to keep everything snipped back, dead-headed and under control. Read on to see what gardening jobs I’ll be getting up to this weekend!
1 – Do the Chelsea Chop
After the Chelsea flower show in late May, it’s the perfect time to chop back your herbaceous perennials as a way of delaying their flowering season and increasing the number of flowers the plant will produce. You can chop back your plants by up to half, which also has the benefit of preventing your plants from being too leggy and requiring of support, which then encourages bushier growth. We didn’t do the ‘chop’ quite at the right time this year because we didn’t want to do a big massacre of the blooms so soon to our wedding, so this weekend we will be blitzing the geraniums, salvia, alchemilla and the other blooms which have grown like crazy during the last few weeks.
2 – Add supports
For plants that are getting overly tall, or are beginning to bend over because they are getting too heavy, supports can be added. Any climbing plants such as sweet peas and climbing beans will also need support. The type of support you need depends on the type of plant. Peonies and roses need this style of support, while sweet peas and beans are better off with this type of support. It can be tricky to buy these online at this type of year due to high demand, so check in local garden and antique centres; if you’re near me in The Cotswolds, I recommend Mickleton Antique Centre as they have a huge selection of beautifully rusted plant supports.
3 – Start taking flower cuttings
Some plants, such as sweet peas, asters, cosmos and strawflowers will continue to reflower once you’ve chopped off their blooms. Some, such as sweet peas will actually flower more, the more you chop! These are my favourite flowers to cut and put into vases and bud vases, as you’re able to take something beautiful inside, while knowing that your garden will continue to look beautiful too. The best tools for snipping flowers are these trimming scissors – they’re used by professional flower farmers. Make sure to get your blooms in water straight away, and early morning and in the evenings are the best times to snip.
4 – Fill any gaps in your borders
Now that the plants in your boarders should be growing well, it may have highlighted spots in your boarder that need filling. If the gap is at the back of your boarder, you may want to add in taller plants such as foxgloves or delphiniums. If the gap is more towards the front, something with good ground cover, such as erigeron will work well.
5 – Deadhead flowering plants
Regular deadheading of spent flowers will encourage the plant to continue flowering for longer, as it allows the plant to redirect more of its energy to new buds, rather than to the dying flowers. You can pinch off the spent flower using a finger and thumb, or you can use a pair of scissors or secateurs for tougher stemmed plants such as dahlias and calendulas. I love taking my morning coffee out into the garden with a wooden trug and deadheading the roses and peonies; and I’m regularly snipping my dahlias to encourage more blooms.
6 – Keep control over pests
If you have an aphid infestation on any of your plants, rather than reaching for harmful chemicals, a slightly more natural way to deal with the problem is to spray soapy water on the aphids – this should help keep those pesky bugs at bay! To keep slugs at bay, you can place slug wool pellets around your plants. These pellets are made of pure wool, and they expand when watered, creating a physical barrier that slugs are not able to cross. Just be sure to create a solid barrier around plants with no gaps in the wool.
Other jobs to stay on top of;
7. Water and feed your veg!
It’s at this time of year that you’ll be really enjoying your harvests of mange tout, peas, beans and the beginning of your courgette – yay! But all of this hard work from the plants means they are in need of feeding and watering regularly; so apply an organic feed once a week, and keep your blooming veg well watered.
8. Plan your autumn veg and get sowing!
There’s still plenty you can direct sow at this time of year; I love to do more cards, beetroot, turnips and even some late Spring onions! Ensure any freshly sown seeds are well watered in, and stay protected from any veg which might take over the beds such as courgette and pumpkin.
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