Encourage a bountiful harvest by pruning fruit trees in June Image: encierro
The longest day of the year falls on June 21st, bringing warmer temperatures and extra sunlight. Flowers are blossoming, there’s lots to harvest in the vegetable garden and keeping on top of bolting plants is a priority – particularly weeds!
For advice on what to start to cultivate this month, check out this ‘what to sow and grow’ page. In the meantime, here’s a comprehensive list of jobs to take care of in your garden this June:
• Harden off and move hanging baskets and containers growing on in the greenhouse into their final position. If your hanging basket plants become leggy, trim off the excess to encourage bushy new growth.
• Continue to thin out drifts of hardy annuals if they're overcrowded.
• Lift and divide clumps of snowdrops and bluebells once the leaves start to yellow.
• If there hasn’t been much rain, raise your mower blades to reduce stress on the grass.
• Water your lawn during hot weather, particularly newly seeded or turfed lawns. Keep new lawns well-watered.
• Warm weather encourages rapid weed growth - apply specific lawn weed killer to tackle them.
• Feed your lawn with a special lawn fertiliser to encourage healthy green growth.
• Recut lawn edges, or install lawn edging to make future maintenance easier.
Other jobs about the garden
Keep your greenhouse from overheating by opening vents and doors Image: Linda George
• Use water butts as much as possible and water your containers and baskets well in hot weather. Start to feed them with a balanced liquid fertiliser every 2 to 4 weeks.
• Make small 'wells' around individual plants so that the water can soak the soil to about 25cm (10in). Merely wetting the surface wastes water, encourages weeds and can lead to surface rooting making plants more vulnerable.
• Keep removing blanket weed from your pond to allow the plants and fish room to breathe.
• Keep an eye out for white powdery mildew on plants. If possible, remove the affected parts and spray with a fungicide to prevent further spread.
• Look for aphids on the underside of leaves - rub them off by hand or spray with an insecticide to prevent them multiplying. Alternatively try using a natural pest control such as Lacewing larvae
• Keep an eye out for scarlet lily beetles on your lilies - remove and crush any you see. Also check for the sticky brown larvae on the underside of leaves.
• Check for vine weevils by tipping your plants out of their pots and looking for 'C' shaped creamy maggots amongst the roots. Treat with nematodes if vine weevils are spotted.
• Invest in pest control to prevent slugs attacking your young plants.
• Clip evergreen hedges such as privet, box and yew while they're in active growth.
• Open greenhouse vents and doors on warm days.
• Check plants in your greenhouse daily and water them if the soil is dry.
• Damp down your greenhouse on hot days to increase humidity and deter red spider mites.
• Turn the compost in your bins every month to keep it well aerated.