Summer is well and truly here. It is time to get outside and enjoy the garden. Sit out with friends, hold a barbecue and most importantly admire all your gorgeous plants. You still need to find time for a few jobs to keep it all looking beautiful. Here are my top 10 jobs for June.
1) Prune summer flowering shrubs
Any shrubs that have already flowered in the spring can now be pruned to keep them in shape and encourage bushy growth. Examples of spring flowering shrubs are philadelphus and lilac. It is also worth noting that if your clematis have already flowered then they can also be pruned. For information on how to prune particular shrubs the RHS have an excellent guide.
2) Plant out tender plants
Obviously this depends where you live and you should trust your own judgement. Most places in the UK can be confident that there will be no more frosts and you can plant out tender plants. If you have particularly special specimen plants then you could always fleece them or put them under a plastic cloche at night for a couple of weeks. Make sure that you have hardened off all plants before you plant them out. We discussed this in the May tasks post regarding hanging baskets and pots.
3) Pinch out Fuschias
If you have tender fuschias you need to pinch out the growing shoots to encourage bushy growth. This will also ensure you get more flowers. Obviously if you are growing a standard fuschia then you need to keep one main stem and pinch out all side shoots until it reaches your required height.
4) Sow more annuals
There is still time to sow annual seeds. This will help to keep flowers in the garden throughout the season and into autumn (until the first frosts). Some suggestions are nasturtiums, borage, zinnias and calendula. You can grow them in trays and then plant out as small plants or you can sow directly into the soil. As it is June, make sure you keep them well watered.
5) Sweet peas
If you have sweet peas in your garden you need to make sure they have something to climb. They should climb themselves and be self-supporting. However, sometimes they need encouraging to climb where you want them to grow. I regularly persuade mine to grow up the obelisk I provided rather than neighbouring plants. It is really important to cut all the flowers as they are at their best. This prevents the plants from producing seeds. As a result they keep producing more and more flowers for you to enjoy. If you harvest your flowers in the evening they usually have more fragrance as you bring them into the house.
6) Stake tall perennials
As I said in the May tasks, it is really important to keep staking tall perennials. This makes sure they are supported and do not spill over onto other plants or your lawn. Just keep an eye on them and try to stake them before they start to fall. Then they will look more natural.
This task never goes away. It is really important at the moment as all your summer flowers are trying to grow and shine out. Weeds are also growing well at this time of year and need regular attention. Little and often is the key to success. I find pulling a few out whilst strolling round enjoying the garden really helps and does not feel like a chore.
8) Lawn care
In June, mowing is the most important task. Make sure it is done regularly. If you are lucky enough to have really hot weather then leave it a little longer so that it does not go brown as quickly. Keep the edges tidy and fasten back any plants that spill over onto the lawn.
If you have lots of summer bedding in the garden or in pots and baskets you will have to keep on top of watering. Established plants in the garden rarely require watering (in the UK). However summer bedding and pots and baskets do. I have a watering system set up on my house to look after the pots and baskets. It comes on automatically in a morning and an evening and ‘drips’ water into the containers. This minimises water losses. However you water, make sure you do it in the coolest part of the day to save water. I also use a water butt to trap rain water so that I use less tap water for watering.
June really is that time of year when the garden is for enjoying. Take time to sit quietly in it, perhaps read a book. Have friends round and just enjoy being out there and using it as an extra room on the house.
So, in summary, enjoy your garden and please feel free to comment below on what you think are important June garden tasks. I have included some pictures from my garden this week to encourage you to go outside and enjoy yours.