what-to-do-in-the-garden-in-june

What to Do in The Garden in June

Welcome to June, one of the best months of our year because it’s warm, the nights are light until 9 pm, and it’s still cool enough to sit in the sunshine without roasting. 

So many plants are putting on huge growth spurts now and it’s only a matter of time before the summer flowers appear. 

What To Do With Veggies In June

Any veggies that you’ve grown from seed need to go outside now. Harden them off by putting them outside during the day and then back indoors at night for a week or so. On a warm day, plant them outside and water, water, water! Sweetcorn, tomatoes, cucumbers, and chilie can all go out now.

If you’re growing runner beans or courgettes give them a nice thick layer of mulch around the roots – a good 2-3 inches of well-rotted manure or compost will do the trick. This helps feed these greedy plants and traps moisture. Runner beans especially hate drying out and drop all their flowers before the beans have a chance to develop. 

Tie in fruit bush shots such as raspberries and currant bushes to save them from snapping in brisk winds. 

If you’re growing veggies in a greenhouse or a cold frame, keep an eye on temperatures that can get very high under glass. This causes wilt and damages plants, so open the door and let fresh air circulate. This also lets pollinators in to fertilise any flowering veggies. 

If you’ve not planted any carrot or beetroot or peas there’s still time. They will grow rapidly in June’s warmth and be ready in late August to September. 

carrots
Carrots

What To Do With Flowers In June

Green June is upon us! Also called The Green Gap June is a time when spring flowers are over and the summer bloomers are yet to put on a show. If you want to add some temporary colour before your summer perennials come out, try lilies.

Lillies add a big hit of colour to your flower border or a container in yellow, pink, orange, red, or white and they’re available right now in flower. If you don’t like them or have cats that chew (lilies are poisonous to cats) then how about multi-coloured heucheras like this? 

Heuchera Fire Engine
Heuchera Fire Engine

It’s time to trim while you wait for more flowers. Tidy up and trim back your spring shrubs including weigela, philadelphus, and wisteria. Prune your wisteria by cutting back long shoots to 20 cms. This will produce new flowers in early spring. 

Pinch out hardy fuchsias. It may seem mad, but this encourages bushy side shoots and produces a better plant in the summer months. 

Feed and water your upcoming summer plants. They’ll produce more buds and a better display if they get nutrients now. Feed your mallows, for example, potato plants, and passion flowers.

If you didn’t do it last month stake your tall perennials. Delphiniums and hollyhocks need a strong cane to keep their weight upright against the good old British wind. 

Sweet peas are another flower that needs support – keep tying them into a framework and feed them once a week. Sweet peas like lots of food. Another flower that loves its food is the beautiful rose.

Mine are just starting to open. I rescued a bin liner of roses from Poundstretcher in 2020. I felt so sorry for these dehydrated roses that I asked for them! Two days of soaking in a bucket of water, lots of food, and two years later they’re starting to look like decent plants. 

Poundstretcher throw away roses
Poundstretcher throw away roses

How to Tend to Your Lawn And Hedges In June

It’s mowing time! Grass grows like crazy in June because it’s warm and we’re still getting rain showers. That’s perfect grass-growing conditions. I’d recommend sharpening your lawnmower blades and if you’ve had them high, lower them a bit. 

If you got any patchy areas feed it with lawn food and keep it watered, this will encourage extra luscious growth. 

You might notice small volcanos on the lawn now. This is a type of solitary bee that likes well-drained soil. They leave a hole and a little pile of soil beside it. Bees return to these homes each night so don’t fill them in – we need all the bees we can get!

Speaking of bees, pyracantha is flowering now and it’s a bee magnet.

Bee on Pyracantha
Bee on Pyracantha flowers

All hedges can be trimmed back and kept neat throughout June just keep an eye out for nesting birds. 

How to Help Out Wildlife In June

It’s heating up and water sources are the single most important thing you can do to help wildlife.

Put out a range of water sources including ground bowls that hedgehogs can reach and birdbaths with a bit of height to make blueys, robins, and little garden birds feel safe.

The best type of hedgehog water bowl is a heavy one. Hogs put their feet on bowl rims and tips water everywhere. A terracotta plant saucer is ideal. There are many types of birdbaths on offer in shops, so you’re spoilt for choice, but whatever the water container be sure to scrub it at least once a week and refill each day.

If you’d really like to help out with water a pond is beneficial to hedgehogs, birds, and amphibians.

I installed a few bucket ponds over winter and they are frequently used now by birds and hedgehogs. Aquatic plants help keep the water clean and a wire cover ensures no hapless mammals fall in. 

bucket pond
Bucket pond

If you don’t want to dig, find an old metal tub, a barrel, or a washing-up bowl for your patio or balcony. You’ll be surprised what a steady water source encourages to your garden.

There’s another type of wildlife that needs water but we tend to forget about them – its insects. Bees and butterflies need water too. The best way to give them a drink is to fill a saucer with pebbles and water so they have a safe place to reach without falling in. 

And while I’m on the subject, if you spot an insect struggling in the water, help it out. Just grab a leaf and let the insect climb aboard. It’s Saving Lives At Sea in your garden! 

It may not be a popular picture with some of you, but here’s a garden spider’s egg sack hiding beneath a birdbath. It’s just starting to hatch and all the miniature spiderlings are blowing away in the breeze on a tiny little pieces of silk thread. 

Spider egg sack
Spider egg sack

How to Deal with Garden Pests In June

Let’s talk about the dreaded box moth!

June is prime time for this pest to destroy Buxus and this year my beautiful box balls have taken the brunt of their appetite. In one-week, box moth caterpillars turned three luscious box balls in this mess.

Destroyed box ball
Destroyed box ball

Here’s the offender 

Box Moth Caterpillar
Box moth caterpillar

I picked over 20 of them off one afternoon and the next day there were just as many still there. 

My resident blue tits have been feasting on bird-table caterpillars but I think the box is on its way out. I’ll continue to pick the caterpillars off, water and feed my box and keep my fingers crossed. 

You‘ll know box moth caterpillar is around because they weave a spider-like webbing over themselves to protect against predators. The RHS ask affected gardeners to report box moth so they can track how far it’s spreading across the country. 

As well as box moth, June is prime time for caterpillars of all types. It’s worth netting any green brassicas to keep cabbage whites at bay, but please check the netting for trapped wildlife each day. Hogs in particular are masters of net entanglement. 

Tending to Patios, Decks, and Garden Furniture In June

In June, the best treatment for your garden furniture is a comfortable bottom! Sit down and enjoy the sun because you deserve it.

However, sitting down requires a clean chair. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve cleaned the patio furniture only for a pigeon to mess it up straight away! 

I recommend a portable pressure washer for ridding rattan, wood, or metal of bird poo. They take water from a bucket and create enough power that you don’t have to scrub.

Patios look lots better in these warmer months because mud, algae, and moss have dried up. Take this as a chance to keep them clean. Use a long-lasting patio cleaner to prevent algae and moss build-up. 

Oh, one last job. It’s BBQ time – is yours up to the job? Drag it from your shed and clean it down. If it’s embarrassing it’s time for a new one! Who can resist a feta and bell pepper kebab with some warmed smoky mackerel from the BBQ? 

Enjoy A Beautiful June!

Fingers crossed we have warm, pleasant weather to start off our summer. Enjoy your garden, listen to the birds, and soak up all the vitamin D you can manage.

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