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Let’s hope for a sunny summer

All Areas > Homes & Gardens > In the Garden

Author: Julia Smith, Posted: Tuesday, 25th May 2021, 09:00

Ah June, the month with the longest days of the year, strawberries and cream, the start of Wimbledon, cricket, festivals and outdoor living. Your garden will be looking wonderful now after all the care and attention you have been lavishing on it over the past months so make sure you take time to enjoy it!

The fertiliser in container plants potting compost is usually used up within six weeks, so when you are potting them on, add some slow-release granules or make sure you give them a liquid feed every week or two whilst they are actively growing. This will make them flower much better than they would otherwise.

Every garden needs a Peony plant

June is a good month for seeing Peonies at their best. They are one of the oldest cultivated flowers (the Chinese have used their roots in medicine for over 1,500 years!) and every garden is better for having one or more of these gorgeous plants.

There is a rich palette of red to choose from, going from pale pink to crimson. I love the leaves as they push through the soil in April/May, unfurling slowly with such promise to come. There are even scented beauties to be had like the ‘Duchesse de Nemours’. They like to be left alone once planted and need a well-drained soil in full sun, although they can tolerate a little shade.

If the weather is warm you can move your indoor cacti outside to a bright but sheltered place. They will benefit from the extra sunlight and fresh air – think of it like a holiday for them! They will need watering at least once a week, as they are probably in a small pot. To encourage the development of flowers, feed fortnightly with a weak liquid high-potash fertiliser like tomato feed.

Don’t panic if your apple trees shed a lot of little fruits at this time of year. It is the ‘June drop’ and they get rid of excess fruit to enable them to ripen and better grow the remaining fruit.

Grow peppers in the sunniest part of your greenhouse

If you are lucky enough to have a greenhouse, plant peppers and aubergines in large pots or grow bags in the sunniest part of it. Otherwise, you can try them in a couple more weeks in a sheltered bright spot in the garden. Some sunny years they may be fine, but if the summer is poor they will need the extra warmth of the greenhouse to fruit or they’ll never perform as well as their greenhouse friends!

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