David Hurrion’s June Tips
Award winning Garden writer David Hurrion’s top tips for June.
Keep a look out for greenfly on your roses this month. A few innocent looking adults can quickly multiply into thousands of sap-sucking pests that turn foliage sticky with their sweet honeydew which is then infected by black mould. Pick them off small numbers of aphids between your thumb and forefinger and pop them on the bird table for a high-protein snack for your feathered friends. Alternatively use a hose to squirt them off the leaves.
- Now that the sun is reaching its highest point in the sky, it’s a good idea to shade your greenhouse or conservatory to stop plants overheating and scorching during the summer. Paint the outside of the glass with shade paint, or try pegging a layer of horticultural fleece to the glazing bars inside.
- Now that box hedges and topiary have made their first spurt of growth, it’s time to trim them into shape. Use secateurs, hand shears or powered clippers – depending on the amount of box you have to trim. These soft clippings can be stored in bags to add to the compost heap in small quantities over the rest of the summer.
- Guarantee better crops of summer fruiting veg – such as tomatoes, peppers, courgettes and beans – by feeding them with a high-potash liquid fertiliser. Formulations sold for tomatoes are suitable for all fruiting crops. Apply as directed on the packaging.
- Border plants can quickly become stressed during hot, dry weather and it pays to give them a good soak once a week, rather than a quick sprinkle every day. Soaking the soil will allow the water to drain down deeply where the roots can use it.
- Deadhead bedding plants in pots and borders to encourage the formation of new flower buds and to keep them looking at their best. Pinch off the faded blooms between your thumb and forefinger or use a pair of garden snips.
- Keep on top of weeds by hoeing once a week between your border plants. Use the blade of the hoe to slice through the soil, just below the surface, to decapitate weeds. This will also create a dry, dusty ‘mulch’ layer which is inhospitable to the germination of more weed seeds.
- Harvest lettuce, radish and other salads as soon as they are ready, rather than leaving them to run to seed. The best time to pick crops is first thing in the morning, when the plants have had time to plump up over-night.
- Pull off the last of dying foliage from spring-flowering bulbs such as daffodils, tulips and crocus. Mark the position of any vulnerable clumps of bulbs that might be disturbed if you intend to do any major planting this month.
See the June issue of BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine filled with inspiring ideas for your garden as well as reminders of other jobs to do this.