June. lovely June. With a bit of warmth, which surely must be coming, June is the month of roses and clematis and early herbaceous such as aquilegias and geraniums plus alliums of all descriptions popping up everywhere. Candelabra primulas are wonderful for the damper corners of the garden and come in intense pinks, oranges and yellows. They have already started flowering and will go on all month. However, in between smelling the flowers, there are a few gardening tasks to be completed:
Weeds are growing faster than ever, it is really tricky to keep them at bay. Goose grass (or cleavers or sticky willy) seems to reappear overnight. Just keep pulling them up as you see them, even if the roots don’t come away from the soil, at least you will have stopped them seedling everywhere and tripling the problem.
Hopefully the soil will have warmed up enough for germination. Sow beetroot, lettuce, radish, carrots outdoors.
Now the show is over give some attention to those spring flowers. Divide pulmonaria and primula. They come apart into separate small plants quite easily. This rejuvenates the plants and will be better and more vigorous next year. Leave the leaves of bulbs to die back and don’t cut them.
Pot culture: put indoor pot plants when there is no likelihood of frosts. It seems mad to suggest it, while it teems down outside but water all newly planted shrubs and trees. Of course water all pots and containers even if it has been raining.
Greenhouse: water and feed tomatoes in the green house. Sow some basil seeds for the greenhouse too. Alternatively buy a little pot from the supermarket and divide up into three or four larger pots to grow on in greenhouse type humid, warm, light conditions.
Ants in the greenhouse: Ants had set up home in my greenhouse and were ‘farming’ aphids on the young tomatoes. By this I mean that they were moving the aphids between the plants in order to milk them for their honeydew excretions. No it’s not good. I tried to keep the soil around the edges of the bed saturated, and this did discourage them. But I found a suggestion while diddling about on the internet that talc is the answer. Sure enough it worked. I surrounded the plants with sprinkled talc and wonderful! no more ants. The aphids have also dwindled. So, fingers crossed for a bumper tomato crop.
Prune stone fruits: cherries apricots plums. Cutting during the growing season helps to avoid silver-leaf disease.