June in the garden
June days are filled with the sweet scent of roses, lavenders and honeysuckles and on a warm, still evening, if you sowed some night scented stocks earlier in the season, they will be giving a heady waft of perfume across the patio seating area whilst you soak up the last rays of the warm sun and sip your latest creation on the ubiquitous gin and tonic theme... Ah well, that's the dream anyway, the reality may be a bit different with the many tasks that may need doing in your garden so here are the Brookside Nursery Top Tips for June:-
HANGING BASKETS - At last, summer hanging baskets may be released into the wide world without fear of late frosts ruining your tender annuals that may have been growing on from tiny plug plants bought from us earlier in the season. To keep them looking good throughout the summer months it is a good idea to start feeding every fortnight with an organic multi-purpose feed to give nutrition to the roots which in turn, will help your plants to produce more flowers. Water baskets on a daily basis too, preferably in the evening so that moisture is retained for longer overnight rather than drying quickly in the heat of the day.
HOUSEPLANTS - Most of your conservatory and indoor house plants will benefit from a stint outside during the summer months where they can become part of your summer displays. They can be brought into a partly shaded position in the garden. Keep an eye on them as tender leaves may be the target of an attack of unwanted pests.
TOMATOES - Remove side shoots of cordon tomatoes to encourage one strong centre stem. Secure the stem with a bamboo pole and tie in the stem as it grows up it. When the first trusses of fruits appear, start to feed the plant as instructed on the tomato feed.
SPRING BULBS - Now that daffodils, tulips, bluebells and other spring bulb foliage has died down it should be very easy to clear away the dead leaves. I normally leave mine until the first or second week of June and then do it all in one go, taking care not to damage any later flowering perennials trying to grow through. All of a sudden the borders have space and look neater. It's the ideal time to weed thoroughly too before planting border annuals out. It is also a good time to mow over any areas you have had naturalised Spring bulbs growing in the grass. The yellowing grass will soon be replaced with fresh new green growth.
SLUGS- I don't know about you but I always seem to find communities of slugs tucked underneath the withered, damp (and often slimey) foliage of bluebell leaves so be vigilant as its the ideal opportunity to dispose of a few hundred unwanted pests. There will be plenty more for the hedgehogs to munch on elsewhere in the garden!
PRUNE IN JUNE - Early flowering shrubs can be pruned lightly after they have flowered. This includes Philadelphus, Lilac, Camellia and Spireas. If they are beginning to look untidy or are outgrowing their spot, now is the time to cut them back, reshape and remove any dead or dying branches or stems.
STRAWBERRIES - The stringy offshoots (runners) that form new strawberry plantlets should be be removed to keep the energy into producing larger tasty fruits on the main plant. If you want to increase your strawberry stocks, wait until late summer and peg down the runners into the ground or into small pots of compost/soil to make new plants.
Fathers Day on Sunday June 16th is fast approaching so have a quick look at our website as we have some perfect gardening gift ideas for the special day and if you can't decide, let them choose as we have our gift vouchers that can be posted directly or emailed straight into the chosen mailbox.
Well, all this talk of strawberries is making me want to eat a bowlful accompanied by a strawberry and elderflower gin concoction so cheers and have a wonderful June in your garden..... Hic...