GARDEN TASKS FOR THE MONTH OF JUNE
  • Perfect time for planting out summer bedding and hanging baskets.
  • Protect fruit trees from mildew and scab, by spraying with fungicide now and again in 3 weeks.  Diseased trees will not produce fruit.
  • Continue planting vegetables, now is the time to plant cauliflower and celery make sure you dig in lots of farmyard manure.
  • Slugs are rampant, newly planted vegetables, bedding,and soft leaved plants can be destroyed overnight.
  • Pinch out cucumber side shoot tips two leaves beyond a female flower.
  • Tie in greenhouse tomatoes to their supports as they grow.
  • Plant carrots and onions in alternate rows, the carrots help drive away the onion fly and the onions drive off the carrot fly.

Enjoy the first days of summer!

Nowadays with such a vast selection of plants to choose from, it’s often difficult to know what to plant. There is always something new which tempts most gardeners and we like trying something different. I find that some of the new varieties can be disappointing as they are very finely bred and need a lot of TLC. By all means experiment but every garden needs the old reliable that will flower year after year with very little care. There are few plants in this category that will beat Lupins. The humble Lupin has new cousins and they are known as West Country Lupins. They are bigger, more disease resistant and some of the colours are spectacular. Manhatten Lights produces a purple and gold spike almost 3 feet high. Gladiator is a delicate peach colour and there’s a bright yellow one called Saffron, all worthy of a sunny spot in your garden.  They will flower for months in any reasonable soil which is not too wet to avoid rotting of the roots during the winter. Plant them in the middle or back of your border as they reach up to 3.5 feet in height and plant something in front of them which is lower and that will flower at a later stage. Something like the perennial Salvia or Veronica which will flower from mid-June onwards. These plants produce a smaller spike like flower than the Lupin so they will complement one another. The pink flowering Veronica called First Love is a good choice.  Remove the flower spike after flowering, this will prolong the flowering season as the plant will produce new spikes.  You can, however, leave on the spike and harvest the pods in late summer. Sow the seeds as soon as the pods are ripe (the pods will turn black when ripe), you may even produce new colours. One thing to remember with Lupins is that slugs also like them so take the necessary steps “West Country Lupins will steal the show”.

June