Climbing Bourbon rose 'Kathleen Harrop'

JUNE

With the hot, sunny early summer set to continue and many plants now in full growth, make sure they get enough moisture.

This is particularly important for any plants you have recently planted out and plants in containers – even if it were to rain, the foliage might well deflect the rain away from the pot.

Dahlias, cannas and begonias can now be safely planted out, if you have not done so already, but keep them well watered in hot weather.

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Prune early flowering shrubs such as Deutzia, Kolkwitzia, Weigela and Philadelphus after they have finished flowering. If this job is left too late, the new growth put on after pruning may not have sufficient ripening time to flower well next year.

Roses should be at their best this month. Frequent dead-heading will keep them tidy and encourage more flowers. Tie in new stems of climbing and rambling roses as close to the horizontal as you can – they will then produce vertical shoots that will bear more flowers.
Take cuttings from garden pinks and carnations (Dianthus). Grasp suitable non-flowering shoots between thumb & forefinger, four pairs of leaves from the tip, and pull to remove them from the parent plant. Treat as softwood cuttings.
Now is the time to sow seed of biennials such as wallflowers, pansies, aquilegias and sweet rocket; they can then be grown on through the summer and planted out in the autumn where you want them to flower next spring.
Thin pears, plums, apricots, peaches and nectarines to avoid ending up with lots of very small fruit – overcrowding also encourages disease and branches can break if overladen. Any thinning of apples should be left until the end of the month, after the ‘June drop’, their natural phase of fruit shedding.
Tidy up Euphorbias by cutting back spent flowering stems to their base – in some varieties they often get powdery mildew. Wear gloves, as the milky sap is a skin irritant.
Deadhead Oriental poppies: when they have finished flowering, cut them right down to ground level to stimulate growth of fresh new foliage and possibly a second flush of flowers. Mulching & feeding will help.
Put netting over soft fruit to avoid losing the crop to the birds. Make sure birds cannot get underneath and become trapped. Birds are also very partial to cherries but netting is impractical for all but the smallest trees. Hanging CDs/DVDs in the branches may have some deterrent effect. Bear in mind that birds will eat the fruit just before you consider it ripe enough to pick!
Plants with substantial flower spikes or heavy flower heads (e.g. delphiniums, sunflowers) will benefit from staking to prevent damage in heavy rain or strong winds.

Wildlife in the garden

Give the mower a rest

and see the benefits for
wildlife (and yourself) [RSPB]

Today's Species

Discover the wildlife for today as
chosen by Sussex Wildlife Trust

Butterfly Sightings

Your sightings at home can help
track how butterflies are faring.

Get your garden buzzing

The RHS's top 10 patio
plants for bees

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