Summer is here and we can’t wait to share with you tips from Ideal Home for making the most out of your garden this June. The sun is shining, fruits are ripe and flowers are in full bloom which means your garden will be attracting admirers both wanted and unwanted! Pests will be lurking to feast on ripe fruits so make sure your garden is protected, whilst you should also take action to make sure that your plants are getting the food and care they need to flourish.
1. Snip off and spray your roses
June is the perfect time to deadhead your roses after they have flowered. This is a quick and easy job which stimulates the growth of new blooms and extends the flowering season. Make sure you snip off the old flower at the base of the bloom, this will encourage the plant to send new shoots from the leaves near the top of the bush, producing smaller flowers. Don’t forget to spray your roses too to ensure they remain healthy throughout the drier months.
2. Protect ripe fruits from ravenous pests!
Your garden is looking particularly vibrant, packed full of exotic colours and scents, which mean it won’t just be friends and family flocking to enjoy it, but plenty of wildlife too. Birds and other species will be seeking out fruits and seeds to snack on, so be ready to protect your produce. Mesh netting is a great, non-chemical solution to deter pests and allow your fruit to fully ripen. Remember, it’s important to wait until the bees and butterflies have worked their pollinating magic before you cover your plants.
3. Plant out tender vegetables
Make sure to plant tender vegetables such as cucumbers, courgettes, and peppers. June is the perfect time to plant up these vegetables as there is a significantly reduced risk of wind and frost, conditions which are detrimental to the growth of tender vegetables. The hot weather provides the perfect conditions for these vegetables to grow, ready to harvest in the following months!
4. Start feeding and pinch out tomatoes
Pinching encourages branching on the tomato plants as by cutting off part of the main stem you encourage the plant to grow two new stems from the leaf nodes below the pinch. Simply use your fingernails to pinch off the new growth at the end of the stem (if you don’t want to use your fingers you can always use a sharp pair of pruning shears!).
5. Feed baskets and containers
Check baskets and containers every day to avoid drying out in the hot weather. Ensure that they remain moist but not soggy as over-watering leads to poor quality plants. Make sure to also apply a liquid fertiliser once a week to ensure the containers and baskets maintain optimum conditions for plant growth.
6. Offer your support!
June is the perfect time to support your tall-growing perennials. During these warmer months perennials are in full bloom and therefore vulnerable to collapse as their long stems and heavy heads make them top-heavy and prone to flopping. Make sure these plants have plenty of support to stay upright and prevent damage during windy or rainy days by using frames or canes and tying the stems securely using twine.
Ideally, you should put any supports – such as bamboo canes – in place before you plant. If you need to put supports up near a wall or fence, place them around 5cm away.
7. Lift tulip bulbs
June 21 is the longest day of the year, and the extra light and warmth encourages the garden to grow. Take softwood cuttings and collect ripe seeds of any flowers you want to grow again next year. Tulip bulbs can also be lifted now, or replanted in a cool, dark spot.
8. Snip, sow and dry herbs
Pick and sow herbs. They’re so easy to grow, whether in beds, borders, containers or on windowsills. Herbs grow best with full sun and light, well-drained, moisture-retentive, fertile soil with plenty of organic matter incorporated.
9. Cut lavender for drying
If you are thinking about drying your own lavender to make into fragrant pillows and sachets for your drawers and wardrobes, you need to pick the flowerheads before they open – that way, your lavender should retain its strong scent and vivid purple colour.
Tie a bunch from the base of the stems with a rubber band and hang in a cool, dark and dry place like an under-stairs cupboard or garage. Leave it for two to four weeks, then it should be ready to use.
10. Harvest and sow salads
Cut-and-come-again lettuces, mizzen, rocket and mustard are great options. Snip with scissors, then watch them regrow. As you pick others salads to eat, sow more, to provide you with a constant supply throughout the summer.
11. Put out exotic plants
Potted exotics can be fully brought out into the garden. Cannas are a good option for planing out. Place them in a sunny, sheltered spot I’m prepared, fertile, well-drained soil. Their foliage makes a strong statement and they will flower from July to October.
12. Deadheading and cutting back
Extend the flowering season of your garden by deadheading and cutting back plants once they have flowered; it may sound brutal but the action will in fact encourage the plants to grow back and to flower again.
13. Cut back beech hedging
Start pruning any trained fruit trees and bushes. Before you start cutting your beech hedges and clipping any evergreen hedging, check for any nesting birds; at Highgrove, the clipping and cutting does not begin until July, to leave wildlife in peace for as long as possible.
14. Transplant winter crop seedlings
Although early June can be quite wet, night frosts should be well and truly over and any winter crop seedlings can be safely transplanted out into your vegetable beds.
15. Check for bee swarms
Insects thrive at this time of year. Check for honeybee swarms – in most cases, the bees shouldn’t bother you if you don’t bother them, but if the nest is causing a real problem, the British Bee Keepers’ Association can put you in contact with a bee collector, who will usually take away the swarm free of charge.