With only a few months' training under her belt, GardenSite's own Flori Bosnigeanu took part in this year's Great Birmingham Run, raising over £500 for the city's Children's Hospital.
At this time of the year you'll find a fabulous selection of summer bedding in Garden Centres. Planted in beds and containers, the bedding plants will create a wonderful display of colour throughout the summer. Here are Nathan James Dodd's other jobs for the month of June.
Collect seed from Hellebores and other spring flowering plants. Sow them now and you'll have plants ready to plant outside in the autumn.
If you only have a small garden or terrace, try growing vegetables and herbs in pots and containers. Use multi-purpose compost, add slow release fertilizer and choose compact varieties and you'll find that bush tomatoes, salad leaves, beetroot, chillies can all be grown successfully, even french beans in a large planter.
After hardening off, tender vegetable plants such as courgettes and squash can now be planted out together with marrows and other squashes with plenty of space between them. Thin out rows of lettuce, carrots and other successive sowings to provide a continuous supply of fresh vegetables.
Take softwood cuttings. Cut off a 2 - 4in long piece of new growth just below a leaf joint and remove the lower leaves and then dip into a rooting hormone powder. Pot or place several cuttings in a tray, cover with a plastic bag and place in a warm light position but out of direct sun light. Ensure the compost is kept moist and rooting should take place in about six weeks.
Prevent plants becoming pot bound by transferring them to another one size larger. They will appreciate the new compost. Eventually plant out into grow bags or continue the process every three weeks or so until they reach a 12in pot.
Raspberries can spread all over the place, dig up any shoots that have ventured too far and consign them to the compost bin.
If we have a spell of dry weather raise the lawn mower blades and leave the cuttings on the grass to conserve moisture. Water every week or ten days but not excessively as you will encourage roots to become too shallow.
Support Broad Beans so that they will survive batterings from bad weather.
Deadhead roses regularly, this will encourage repeat flowering varieties to form new shoots and buds. For bush and single bloom varieties cut back the stem by about six inches to a sturdy leaf. On multi-flowering roses, just pinch off the bloom and then when all the flowers have faded prune the stem. On non-repeat flowering roses cut the stems back by a third.
Mulch strawberries, preferably with straw. This raises them off the ground, keeps them clean and lessens the chances of rot or slug damage.
Early planted sweet peas will need to be tied in, if you were late planting them pinch them out when they are about 6ins to encourage bushier growth. Keep them well watered.
Move conservatory plants to a sheltered sunny position outside.
Every three years citrus plants need repotting using fresh compost. Add grit so that essential drainage is maintained, and this is also helped by raising the pot above ground.,Only water when the soil is completely dried out, then add tomato feed or liquid seaweed, and make sure the water flows through rather than remains in the container.
Clematis, which are notoriously greedy when starting to flower, will also benefit from a liquid seaweed or tomato feed.
Continue to control weeds before they proliferate. Eradicate both foliage and roots which, in the case of bindweed and some others can be a difficult task; catch dandelions, ragwort and groundsel before they seed; dig up the long tap roots of docks and plantains. Hoe when it's dry so the weeds die swiftly and don't put perennial weeds such as creeping buttercup or thistle on the compost heap.
Container grown plants, particularly in terracotta pots, will need watering every day, do this in the evening so that the water isn't immediately evaporated and, as with garden plants that will need a good soaking every couple of days, target the roots rather than foliage.
It's worth checking whether your early potatoes are ready to harvest, if planted in April they will be soon. Don't wait for flowers as they aren't always produced. Continue to earth up the main crop, not only does this protect tubers but suppresses weeds as well.
Birds love cherries, but so do we. Netting is the only sure way of protecting the fruit, but cherry trees can be large and this may be an impractical solution. Try hanging anything that is shiny and reflective on the branches such as strips of aluminium foil, CDs, tin cans – not pretty but if you don't do something the birds will strip the tree of fruit.
Fruit that doesn't pass muster falls off early, its the natural June drop to get rid of the weak so that the strong will thrive. You can help this process by thinning apples to one per cluster, reduce pears to two per cluster, 4 - 6ins apart. Plums tend to be heavy croppers, putting great strain on the branches, so thin to two fruits every six inches.
Continue to plant out lettuce that has been initially sown in trays to avoid seedlings being eaten by slugs.
Make sure the greenhouse is well ventilated on hot days and continue to remove side shoots from tomatoes.
If you have a pond, see our blog on June Pond Maintenance.
Nathan James Dodd
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