Your Garden in June

By John Dunster

Vegetable Garden

Continue to make sowings of beetroot, lettuce and carrots, also sow seeds of swedes, turnips, spring cabbage, purple sprouting and french beans.

Keep up with the weeding, cutting off young seedlings with a dutch hoe, preferably in the morning on a dry day.

Harvest rhubarb up until the end of the month when thereafter it will be time to give the plants a rest.

Look out for the larva of the sawfly on gooseberries as they can soon decimate the foliage, destroy them by picking off by hand.

Aubrieta

Cut aubrieta back hard after flowering, feed and water, this will encourage the plant to produce new growth and remain compact, also cut back foliage of pulmonaria, they will respond by producing fresh new growth free of mildew.

Lily Beetle

Watch out for the scarlet lily beetle, these may not only be found on lilies but also on fritillaria, pick them off, but place your other hand underneath as they have a habit of dropping down and disappearing into the soil.

Hanging Baskets and Planters.

Hanging baskets which were planted up earlier can now be hung outside.   Choose a sheltered place where it is protected from the wind and within easy reach for watering.   During hot weather it will be necessary to water hanging baskets and planters at least once  a day.    The plants will soon use up the nutrients in the compost and will need feeding with a liquid fertiliser twice weekly.    Cut off faded flower heads and pinch out vigorous shoot tips to encourage bushy growth.

Roses

During the flowering season remove spent blooms from the flower heads of shrub roses by cutting off individual blooms until it has finished flowering and then cut off the stem to a healthy bud lower down.   When the bush has finished flowering apply a feed of Rose Food, chicken manure pellets or blood, fish and bone.   Sprinkle around the base of the plant and mix into the soil and water.   Don’t  however dead head roses that produce ornamental hips.   Identify any suckers, which are shoots that grow from the rootstock of a grafted rose and remove.

Tomatoes

Depending on the variety tomato plants either grow on a bush or a vine.   Those grown as a single stemmed cordon need support and must be tied to a cane or wrapped around a secured string tie.. Shoots emerging from the axil between the main stem and leaves must be removed regularly.  As trusses are formed remove the lower leaves to improve air flow around the plant.    Keep plants well watered while they are growing vigorously, this can be reduced later on, adding a dose of liquid tomato feed once a week.   Fruit will ripen more evenly if plants are shaded from intense direct sunlight.

The Greenhouse

To prevent the greenhouse from becoming overheated provide shading by applying shade paint to the exterior of the glass.   Increase ventilation by opening the lower vents to improve air flow, damping down the floor will raise the humidity.

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