Our top 10 gardening tips for June
It’s finally here! June sees the official start of summer on the twenty-first of the month.
You and your garden will enjoy higher temperatures and longer hours of sunlight than in previous months. In terms of rain, there’s likely to be less than in May but more than in July and August, which are commonly very dry.
Given these changing conditions, there’s plenty to do in your garden this month. We’ve picked out 10 top things to do to get you started.
If you’re new to horticulture (the fancy word for gardening) and aren’t quite up to speed with all the jargon, don’t worry. We’ll explain everything as we go.
Below is a list of our top 10 tips for June. You can either scroll past this list and read our article in full or click on a tip you’re interested in for information straight away.
- Plant out your bedding
- Move your baskets and pots outside
- Deadhead your roses
- Harvest your peas and new potatoes
- Keep things cool in your greenhouse
- Thin our your fruit trees
- Harden off your tender plants
- Mow your lawn every week
- Train your cordon tomatoes
- Plant your herbs in a pot next to the BBQ
Plant out your bedding
With the risk of frost gone, early June is a great time to plant out bedding to create beautiful flower displays for the summer – as well as filling in irksome gaps where spring flowers have faded and perennials are yet to bloom!
Bedding refers to the temporary planting of fast-growing plants into flowerbeds to create colourful, seasonal arrangements. Once done flowering, the plants are disposed of. Planting out means moving a plant out from a protected environment – commonly a greenhouse – and into the ground.
Following on from this, such plants are known as bedding plants and are typically:
- Annuals – Plants which complete their growing cycle in a year
- Biennials – Plants which complete their growing cycle in two years
- Tender perennials – Plants which can’t survive harsh conditions, particularly frost
If you haven’t grown your own plants to bed, any local garden centre is sure to have a fantastic selection. Just make sure to pick a recent delivery which is looking fresh and healthy, and don’t delay as they’re sure to be popular.
Although the recommended spacing will vary from plant to plant, make sure to keep them all well-watered for the first several weeks as they establish their roots.
Move your baskets and pots outside
As well as planting out your bedding, don’t forget to brighten up the rest of your outside space by moving baskets and pots outside.
Safety should always come first, so make sure that any brackets you have are firmly attached to the wall before hanging up your baskets. You don’t want your beautiful displays ending up on the floor!
Again, don't be discouraged if you missed your chance to plant containers and baskets earlier in the year; many garden centres sell them already planted. Go for those with plenty of flower buds that will put on a fantastic show in the upcoming weeks.
When setting up your pots and baskets, you can ensure that any additional water is absorbed rather than leaking out by keeping a little gap between the top of the compost and the top of the container.
Also, give hanging baskets and container displays a liquid feed to promote flowering every few weeks.
Deadhead your roses
June is heaven for rose lovers. At this point of the year, many varieties will be at their peak, delighting with their beautiful petals and scents.
Unfortunately, good things don’t last forever – and roses are no exception. However, you can prolong their beauty through a process called deadheading.
Deadheading is the removal of a plant’s flowers when they are dead or beginning to fade away. This not only improves how the plant looks immediately, it also encourages more blooms.
The deadheading technique works as flowering is a stage in a plant’s reproductive cycle that aids in the development of seeds. Plants begin to blossom less (i.e. less lovely petals on your roses) and eventually stop once seeds have been generated. So, snipping off spent flowers will encourage more flowers to bloom.
Roses should be deadheaded as frequently as possible now that they are fully blooming. To encourage the development of axillary buds, which will lead to more blooms, cut off their fading heads at a bud or leaf below.
For multiple-flowered roses, take each bloom from the cluster as its petals start to fall, snipping with secateurs or pinching them out. While the remaining buds open, this will maintain the plant's good appearance. Remove the entire stalk once all the flowers in a cluster have faded.
For roses with single flowers, cut off the flowerhead and around 15cm of the stem right above a robust, healthy leaf. That leaf joint will sprout your subsequent blossom stalk.
Harvest your peas and new potatoes
The first peas of the growing season, such as sugar snap peas, ought to be ripe for picking by June. Excitingly, the sweetest and tastiest peas in the crop are frequently those that are picked first. However, be sure to eat them right away, because sugar quickly turns into starch and the peas lose their flavour.
By the middle of the month, early and second early cultivars of new potatoes should be ready to be dug up. It’s wise to leave some potatoes in the ground for later digging because subsequent potato harvests will be larger.
Keep things cool in your greenhouse
Depending on how much sun your greenhouse gets, it might be worth creating some shade to keep your plants cool and prevent scorching. You can do this by applying shading paint to the greenhouse’s glass or by installing shade nettings and blinds.
You should also think about opening your greenhouse’s windows and doors on hot days for ventilation. As well as reducing temperature fluctuations, doing so will also let pollinating insects benefit your plants inside and lessen the risk of fungal disease!
Thin out your fruit trees
Typically, young fruit is abundant on fruit trees. In fact, there’s commonly so much fruit that they would all be small and irregular if every piece was left to grow.
This is because a tree can’t supply enough nutrients to fuel growth in all the of the fruit it bears.
Even though some fruit naturally drops off (known as the June drop), you still need to thin out your fruit trees even more for optimum growing.
Reduce the amount of fruit on your trees so that the remaining ones are spaced at the following intervals:
- Cooking apples: 15-22cm
- Dessert apples: 10-15cm
- Peaches: 15-20cm
- Pears: 10-15cm
- Plums: 8-10cm
- Nectarines: 15cm
Harden off your tender plants
The last time we’re likely to experience frost is the end of May. With this risk out of the way, it’s time to plant out your tender plants – those which can’t survive outside during the winter.
You can make the switch to outdoor growing for your tender plants easier by hardening them off.
Hardening off refers to a plant's gradual transfer from a safe indoor environment to the outside. Moving the plants gradually will help them deal with the change in temperature, wind, and their now direct exposure to sunlight.
The shock of being taken outside unexpectedly can significantly slow a plant's growth. So, even though plants commonly recover eventually if they’re abruptly placed outside, hardening off is the preferable approach.
The least complicated method is to place your plants outside during the day and bring them in overnight for at least seven days.
Mow your lawn every week
With the increased temperature and hours of sunlight, your lawn can easily get out of hand during June.
So, try and mow your lawn once a week. Lower the cutting height for established lawns and make sure to water newly seeded grass during dry spells.
However, don’t worry if you haven’t got the time to do this every week – we know you’re busy! Simply trim the edges of the lawn with an electric trimmer. This will keep things looking neat until you have the chance for a full mow.
As well as being good for your lawn, warm weather also encourages rapid weed growth. You can tackle this issue in two ways. Firstly, go over your lawn with a springtime rake before you mow. This lifts low, creeping weeds like clover and yarrow so that they get caught in the mower blades. Secondly, apply a specific lawn weed killer.
Train your cordon tomatoes
Controlling a plant's direction, shape, and size is known as training. A gardener trains plants to enhance flower or plant management, size, and quality, as well as to safeguard them from harm.
Such a process is required for cordon tomatoes – those which are grown as a single-stemmed vine. Specifically, they need to be trained to increase production and stop side shoots from growing into an untidy plant.
To direct the plant's energy toward producing the fruit, cordon tomato plants must be trained to have a single central stem.
Plant your herbs in a pot next to the BBQ
Your favourite herbs, such as basil, chives, sage, tarragon, and parsley, can be planted in a container and kept close to your barbeque.
When you need to grab a handful of herbs, they'll be waiting there ready for you!
A container should be able to last you the entire summer if you remember to feed and water your plants.