Brits love to discuss the weather, but these last few weeks it’s been justified - instead of a glorious spring beginning, we’ve been welcomed to the season with a somewhat cool reception. If May invited us over for dinner, we’d politely decline. The less than ideal conditions have put paid to barbecues, beach trips and, of course, many gardening plans.
There is a silver lining to all those clouds (and rain, and storms) we had in May however - the lower than average temperatures and soggy conditions may have spared gardeners a little longer to tick off those May to-do lists. While things definitely grew, as anyone who’s tried to mow their lawn recently can attest, some flowers that would usually be blooming by now are but mere buds, and the late frosts may have wreaked a little havoc.
So, now that Mother Nature’s spared you a little more time and sent some sun our way, let’s hope for a more jubilant June. Here’s some ideas for what to do in the garden this month:
Rose tinted gardens
There’s a few things you can do to your roses this month to really help them to thrive. For rambling or climbing roses, you can encourage more flowers by tying new stems to horizontal supports. By training them, you’ll encourage them to flower for longer so you’ll have beautiful blooms all summer long.
If your roses repeatedly flower throughout the season, then this month do some dead-heading to encourage new flowers. Don’t go too heavy on the pruning - you just want to cut them back no more than 5mm above an existing bud.
Keep an eye on your roses’ health too, and spray any that are showing signs of disease or mildew.
Hedge your bets
In the summer, hedges can get out of control if you’re not careful - it’s best to trim them every six weeks to keep them in check (and avoid any complaints from the neighbours!) Before you get too hack-happy, make sure you check in your hedges for any nesting birds so you don’t end up disturbing them and getting a shock!
Quench your thirst
No, not for a G&T (although one probably wouldn’t go amiss). We’re talking about water, and lots of it. Last month we spoke about ensuring thirsty crops and greenhouse plants were showered with a little extra water, but this month you’ll want to keep topping up the whole garden. Try to get into the habit of watering daily, or at least frequently, and definitely on warmer days. Pay special attention to any new trees or shrubs you’ve planted, because these will need extra quenching.
The nitty gritty
Grit in your soil helps to improve the drainage, so at this time of year it’s certainly worth investing in some to help with all that water you’ve been lovingly showering your plants with. You can also use a grit mix to top dress your pots to help reduce evaporation.
Want to know more about grit mixes and how they can help you make the best of your soil? Check out our helpful guide.
Do the June prune
Once your spring-flowering bulbs have flowered, it’s time to prune them. Look for young shoots lower down the plant, and prune back to them. Try to prune fairly soon after the bulbs have finished flowering, to allow maximum regrowth time, and as well as cutting stems back, also get rid of any weak shoots - when it comes to thriving flowers, it’s survival of the fittest! Once you’ve pruned, add some mulch, and some feed, and watch those flowers continue to thrive!
Turf’s best laid when the ground isn’t too wet, so the chances are, if you were planning to carpet your garden in April or May, you might well have held off. Now that the ground is hopefully a little drier, you’ll want to lay your turf soon - but be prepared to keep on top of watering to keep it healthy and hydrated. There’s a fine balance when it comes to keeping your turf happy - you don’t want to over-water, so try to water it every few days, especially for the first month while it’s becoming established.