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Garden Notes For June 2016

June should be not too bad in terms of dry days and warmth with temperatures highest during the second half of the month. There may be some cool days during the first week or so. Rainfall will be slightly lower than usual, until the last week when there could be some heavy thundery showers.

Flowers
Cut sweet peas regularly to encourage repeat flowering. Deadhead azaleas, calendula, delphinium, iris, lilac, lupins, pansies and roses. Pulling the deadheads on roses rather than cutting them off leads to more repeat flowering.
Divide overgrown clumps of polyanthus and primulas after they have finished flowering. Put the divided plants in a shady part of the garden, they can then be put into their new place in the autumn. Plants that are good for butterflies (other than buddleia) include aubrietia, chives, clover (red and white), dandelion, forget-me-not, French marigold, honeysuckle, ivy, lavender, michelmas daisy, mint, parsley, thyme, wallflower.
Roses are at their best towards the end of the month. It helps to keep them cut regularly and feed
with a potash feed to keep them blooming longer. If you want to have specimen blooms it is advised to take out the side shoots carefully, as well as the smaller buds, leaving just one strong one at the end of the stem. Keep an eye out for pests and disease. Keep mildew at bay by regular spraying.

Vegetables
Sow maincrop beetroot, Calabrese, lettuce and oriental greens where they are to grow. Other vegetables that can be sown direct in early June include French and runner beans, kohl rabi, radishes, spring onions, swede and turnips. Remove flowerheads from chives and lemon balm before they self­ seed all over the place.
Take softwood cuttings of sage, rosemary and hyssop. Strip the leaves off healthy shoots around 7 em long and put into pots of well-gritted, moist compost. Shade greenhouses to prevent plants being scorched by direct sunlight. Use shade netting or paint the glass with a shading wash.
In the vegetable plot, make sure potatoes are kept ridged up, otherwise the tubers get exposed and
ruined. Late Savoy cabbage can be sown now- use a variety like ‘Ormskirk’. Winter cabbage like January King should be planted out now. Leeks should be planted out using a dibber to make a hole about 6 to 8″ deep, and then water it in well. Continue to make successional sewings of lettuce. Ones like ‘Tom Thumb’ ‘Little Gem’ and ‘Mini Green’ are fast growing, and the right size for many people. Webb’s Wonderful is superb but rather large.
Early tomatoes should be ripening fast and the fruits should be picked regularly.

My allot ment
The frosts in the early part of the month ‘singed’ a few leaves of the earliest spuds that are growing under a polythene cloche. If I was a really keen gardener, I should have built up the earth covering, but, sadly, I am not and they will just have to take their chances.
The soil outside any covering is taking a long time to warm up. This has meant that the weed growth, so far, has been kept to the minimum, but I am expecting it to explode anytime soon. It also means that the second earlies and main crop potatoes have not put their noses above ground. Partly this is because I took fright at the frost damage and earthed the rows up with huge clods. So we wait and
see. The whole plot needs to be tidied up and we made a small start on this by defining the edges a bit
more.

C.C.

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