Tips and advice on garden care in June
The warm weather is here and your garden is in its final flourish before it begins to slow down due to the more intense heat of July and August. There can be lots to keep on top of in June, but with our handy checklist those gardening essentials will soon be through and you can sit back and enjoy all your hard work.
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Gardening ideas for June
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Protect your garden from the hot weather
Watering is essential as the temperature rises, so make it part of your daily routine. Borders, bedding, pots and containers, hanging baskets and even the grass need to get a regular drink or they could wilt and die.
And if you have a greenhouse, remember that this too needs to maintain its moisture. So don't just water and feed your plants - regularly damp down your greenhouse by spraying water from your hose or watering can onto the path as well as under your staging.
For more help on caring for your garden when the temperatures soar, check out the advice in our how to guide.
Stake, cut and divide your plants
Herbaceous perennials can grow quickly and to a large size, so will need staking to provide support and avoid collapsing - this is particularly true of taller plants like delphiniums (pictured). Some hardy annuals sown earlier in the year may also need support now as well. Tie plants such as sunflowers to garden canes before they grow too tall and bend or break.
June is the time to start taking softwood cuttings - only using non-flowering shoots. Cut soft shoot tips below a leaf node (where new growth starts from an existing stem) leaving a cutting about 10 to 15centimetres (cm) long. Dip the base in rooting treatment before putting into a pot.
Finally, divide your pulmonaria, early primulas, doronicum and any other perennials that have already flowered. This helps ensure they're strong and will produce plenty of flowers the next year. Once you've removed an established clump from the ground (taking care not to damage the roots), place two forks back to back into the clump and prise apart, repeating until you have several smaller clumps. Discard the older central part and replant the new sections.
This month you’ll need to keep on top of training any climbing and rambling roses you have. Tie in new shoots as they grow to make sure they don’t hang down. If you have any newly planted climbing roses that you want to cover a wall or arch, choose strong, well-placed stems that are coming up from near the base of the plant. Spread them out and tie them firmly to their supports. It pays to use proper plastic plant ties instead of string, which will weaken over the course of a few years and then suddenly break with the weight of your then established plant.
Harvest and grow vegetables
June’s the time to harvest quite a few of your growing vegetables. Early potatoes, overwintering onions, asparagus, lettuce, rocket, radishes, spring onions and peas should be ready for your kitchen table about now.
Once you’ve harvested them, don’t leave the ground empty - clear out the old roots and leaves, sprinkle some fertiliser over the top and work it in, before sowing your next crop. All the usual salad vegetables can still be sown now:
Water young vegetables and hoe regularly.
Enjoy your fruit
It’s not just vegetables that are ripe for the picking - June is the time to start harvesting your strawberries. Any that have been in your greenhouse or under cover in a cloche should be ready now, with any grown outdoors following in a couple of weeks.
Nip off strawberries complete with a short stalk. This helps the fruit stay fresher for longer in the fridge and prevents grey mould forming on the traces of fruit that get left behind, which is very harmful if it spreads to the rest of the plant. Rhubarb, redcurrants and gooseberries can also be harvested now. Keep pulling sticks off but don’t remove all of them at once, as this will encourage more to develop.
Protect fruit that’s not quite ripe from birds with mesh or netting - or they may get to enjoy it before you do.
For more advice on growing and caring for strawberries, head to our how to guide.
Get ready for the end of summer
No one wants to think about the return of cold weather – especially in June, when summer has only just begun. But for your garden to continue to look its best, there a few things you can do now in preparation.
Dig up some spring-flowering bulbs such as tulips and hyacinths and store in a cool, airy shed, while daffodils, snowdrops and bluebells can be left in the ground all year round. Don’t leave any bulbs in the ground near plants that will need watering during the summer, as they won’t like the wet and will usually end up rotting. Spring bedding plants such as forget-me-nots and wallflowers will now be finished – remove and add to your compost bin.
If you’re looking for autumn colour, now is the time to sow late summer bedding, as well as winter and spring bedding – these include: