Summer begins towards the middle of June and the days are warmer and filled with the colour and scent of flowers. Salad crops can be harvested this month and strawberries appear in abundance. June is the time to really enjoy the garden as the long, warm days and light evenings provide more time for leisure and relaxation.
June is classically the month of the rose but many other shrubs, flowers and plants will be giving of their best.
However, its not all easy going this month, weeds will need constant hoeing and removal, especially around the vegetable garden, flower beds, fruit bushes and shrubbery. Keep watering newly planted, young and particularly thirsty plants, such as salad vegetables, tomatoes and dahlias.
Conditions in the greenhouse can quickly become tropical on sunny days, so keep it well ventilated and apply shading paint or put up screens if not already done. Also dowse the greenhouse ground/path with water regularly to keep moisture levels up.
June is the perfect time to taking many types of cuttings, which is a light and enjoyable task and provides the welcome benefit of providing many new flowers, plants and shrubs for free, so can be very rewarding.
All manor of pests, insects and birds will be after ripening fruit and succulent, young growth, in both the vegetable and ornamental garden, so your skills in outwitting them will certainly be tested this month.
If you have vert dry summers or a water shortage your area and still want to plant containers, then why not plant-up some tender succulents such as aeoniums, crassulas, echeverias, haworthias or mesembryanthemums. These tough little plants will look after themselves all summer, without the need for much watering once established. However as they are all tender, they cannot be put outside until all risk of frost has passed in your area. Be sure to use a free draining compost, such as cactus compost and top it off with gravel, small stones or slate chippings. This will ensure that the succulent leaves and rosettes don't sit in damp soil.
Many house plants will appreciate a spell outdoors during the summer. The end of June is a good time to put them outside, where the sun and heat will encourage strong growth and improve flowering. It also gives you a chance to clean the pots and saucers and re-pot any plants that require it. Place them in sheltered, warm and draught-free area, as they will not be used to outside conditions. Take special care with sensitive plants such as aspidistra, begonias, azaleas and ferns as they will need protection from strong sunlight, so a lightly shaded spot will suit them better.
Don't forget that plants in pots can dry out very quickly, so place them on large gravel filled trays or plunge (part bury) the pots in the borders to ensure they won't suffer from lack of water. Also remember to mist your house plants, whether indoors or out, with tepid water, to keep red spider mite at bay.
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