menu

June

Tidy up.

Start with your asparagus patch. Unpicked asparagus spears grow into ferns which can get over a metre tall. Once the ferns are completely brown and dry, trim them off at ground level and put in your compost bin. Weed your bed and mulch it to stop weeds germinating. When the new spears start emerging in early spring or when the weather starts to warm up, you can start applying liquid fertiliser.

Next in the tidying up list is rose pruning. Before you prune, spray your roses with lime sulphur - this knocks off all the leaves and sends them into a dormant state. It also gets rid of diseases like rust, scale and black spot.

Once you've given your roses a light prune with secateurs - give your trees, including fruit varieties, a prune as well. Don't forget your strawberry patch will need some attention too.

Now's the time to divide your strawberry plants and remove the runners. Your main plant won't fruit forever so it's important for it to grow new plants to keep producing a fresh supply of fruit. But it's equally as important to remove the surplus runners/new plants so they don't compete for nutrients from the soil with your main patch. Here's how to do it: split your strawberries and keep the new plant off the runner (the little stems running off that go on to make new plants) closest to your main clump. Remove the other runners and new plants and dispose of them or grow your strawberry supply by planting them elsewhere in the garden.

Lastly, cut all the leaves off your heleborus, otherwise known as winter roses - this will help produce taller flower stems.

Once you've finished tidying up, you can get your soil ready for more planting by fertilising it. A good fertiliser for this is nitrophoska blue - available at your local garden store. If your soil is wet and hard, or your lawn isn't drying out, try using gypsum. Gypsum breaks down soil and encourages drainage. If you spend time fertilising and caring for your soil now, you'll reap the benefits come spring.

Now for the planting. June is a good time to plant your garlic and shallots. The general rule of thumb is plant on the shortest day of the year (21 June) and harvest on the longest day (21 December). But any time from May until end of July is fine. It's also a good month to start replanting or planting your native trees while the soil is nice and wet but not too boggy from winter.

And now for maintenance. The weather is getting cooler now - so remember to check your cauliflowers aren't getting hit by the frost, and fold over their leaves to protect them.

If you've already planted your broad beans, check they aren't falling over. If they are, stake them by putting a stake at each end of your crop and wrapping string around them all.

Lastly, watch out for slugs and snails. If you're having problems with these slimy pests, try using beer bait.

Enquire about: June