Gardening in ‘Flaming June’

Gardeners' World

June is the month where sunshine is at its most. It may not be the hottest month but this is when plants are given their most productive time to grow and thrive. New plants in the vegetable garden and bedding or container plants actually to do most of their growing now whilst light levels are high and temperature constraints lowest.

Once larger plants have established there should be ample water from winter in the soil to see them through in late summer. Newly planted seedlings and plants, however, need careful watering to ensure they thrive. We know all too well how fickle the weather can be and after a very dry April and not much rainfall in May your garden/allotment will probably need all the watering help it can get. Watering is key to growing plants well, this not only means providing the water our gardens need, but using it wisely. Water is a precious resource and supplies in the UK are under pressure. Fertiliser and mulching will help them make the most of this light for better results later in the summer.

Weeds, unfortunately, seem to lack the need for either water or nutrients to survive! Weed, weed and weed some more especially in wetter weather and lookout for slugs! They can decimate an unprotected crop but it is quite right that the slug pellet as we knew them are now banned! Once more we see the no mow areas have been in action again this year and is a mind change to help and protect our wildlife. We all love a nicely cut lawn but leave it a bit longer and if possible, create a no mow area yourself.

Visit your local garden centre to get ideas for great looking summer borders and hanging baskets. It’s also time to prune your spring flowering shrubs such as forsythia. It makes for a healthier more robust plant next year. There should be some crops available if you have had the time to plant them but if not it’s not too late to get some in. Cut and come again salad leaves are an easy grow and quite delicious. Look after your tomatoes and feed if necessary. Potatoes like water and hopefully there has been enough for a decent early crop.

Which brings us nicely to the Frenchay Flower Show. It doesn’t matter what you think of your crops: it’s all about entering and making the best of what you have. We all want this fabulous village event to be as bright and bountiful as it has in the past!

Alan Caswell

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