Garden Notes for June 2022.
Although this is the month when the plants really start to motor, it is also a good time to propagate primulas and polyanthus, which can be lifted and divided when they have finished flowering. Grass where daffodils have been flowering may look untidy but should be left until their foliage has turned yellow and died down. If the clumps of daffodils have not flowered well it may be that that they are getting overcrowded, and they can be lifted and divided to overcome this potential problem.
Tall flowering plants like delphiniums and lilies should be staked as they develop otherwise they might be damaged by wind.
Sow biennials like wallflowers, canterbury bells and Sweet Williams now for early flowers next spring. Plug plants help the amateur grower so much these days, but it is still cheaper, and more satisfying, to sow your own seed. If you have the space and confidence why not buy the seed and sow winter flowering pansies now? They make such a good show during the winter and will brighten up dull areas.
Remember to thin carrots and beetroot that were sown last month so that you can get bigger specimens. It is nice to have them young and tender, but if you let them grow too close together they become so tangled up that they do not reach their full potential.
If you have been growing cyclamen they should be repotted into their final pots using John Innes potting compost No.2. They prefer cool, moist shady conditions in the summer. Young hydrangea plants that have made 3 or 4 pairs of leaves should be stopped by taking out the leader growth. By doing this you will force the plant to make side growth for next year’s flowering.
Do not forget to ridge your potatoes, if you are growing them in the conventional way. Keep up successional sowings of lettuce since the ones sown now will be ready in August to win you bumper prizes at the next Flower Show (August 17th). Plant out runner beans in early June and keep them tied in until they start to twine themselves around the poles. If you have courgette plants, make sure that they are in moist and humus rich conditions to encourage growth.
Watch out for aphids and other pests and take appropriate action before they become established and ruin the plants. In past years I have ignored early signs of blackfly on nasturtiums (for example) and had a whole row destroyed in a matter of days. As regards thistles, the following old saying explains why you should wait a bit:
Cut thistles in May – they grow in a day
Cut them in June – that is too soon
Cut them in July – then they die