Your June gardening to-do list

Summer is here at last and roses and many perennials are flowering in earnest. There’s still lots to do but make time to appreciate the results of your hard work.

  1. Keep deadheading spent flowers on perennials and roses to keep them going throughout the summer.  Old flower heads of Euphorbia characias should be cut back now and some hardy geraniums and nepeta can be sheared for a second flush.  Oriental poppies can be cut back after flowering too.
  2. Prune spring flowering shrubs such as weigela, philadelphus and deciduous magnolias.  Follow with a general-purpose organic fertiliser and mulch.
  3. Cut down dead foliage on bulbs – around six weeks after flowering when it’s gone yellow.  Continue successional planting of gladioli and lift and divide iris clumps.
  4. Keep staking tall perennials like phlox and hollyhocks to avoid them collapsing or being battered by rain.
  5. Now is the best time to plant up all those containers, baskets and bedding plants you’ve been dreaming of.
  6. Give the garden a good soak once or twice a week in warm weather, concentrating on newly planted shrubs and trees.  Containers can need watering daily when it’s hot.
  7. Thin out hardy annual seedlings such as cornflowers or nigellas, sown in May.  If they haven’t already, runner beans can go into the ground now, as can courgettes and tomatoes – feeding with a weekly high potash fertiliser.
  8. Feed flowering pot plants weekly with liquid fertiliser and give hungry plants like sweet peas and clematis a mid season boost of general purpose organic fertiliser such as blood fish and bone, and water in.
  9. Look out for pests such as aphids and spray with soapy water, and check the garden for slugs and snails, particularly after rain, picking them off or using organic slug pellets or beer traps.
  10. Mow the lawn once or twice a week, raising the blades if it’s dry.  Feed the lawn with a liquid or slow release fertiliser such as chicken manure pellets and make sure newly laid grass doesn’t dry out.