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The Joys Of June…

June 23, 2012

wwwgardendesignercouk-18.jpgGardens are now getting into their peak time and for us gardeners were into our own busy time for gardening tasks. Hopefully, with the weather warming up and the days getting even longer, where better to be than pottering about in the garden. If you haven’t got your own garden then go and visit other peoples’ gardens that are open under the National Gardens Scheme.

If you haven’t done so, then now is the time to plant out greenhouse-reared cuttings, annuals and seasonal bedding plants for summer colour interest. Half-hardy annuals from seeds can also be sown outdoors, but ensure that you keep them watered in any dry spell.

Around this time of the year also make sure that you keep an eye out for those horticultural hooligans; slugs and snails. Given just half a chance, they will quite happily munch away at fresh new shoots and your new plants could end up as little leafless stumps. The best time to find these pests is in the morning and early evening and you’ll be surprised as to how many you’ll find. How you deal with slugs and snails is a matter of choice, but I prefer the organic approach.

Want to grow your own crops? Then now is the time to sow directly into the soil and broad French or runner beans, cabbage, beetroot, broccoli, carrots, lettuce, peas and turnips are a great choice.

The grass is now growing rapidly so regular mowing will be needed and if your lawn needs perking up then treat it with some lawn fertiliser to keep it lush and green.

Now is also the time to prune early flowering shrubs such as forsythia, philadelphus, pieris and weigela. Remember to prune out to one-third of the old growth and also pruned back to the size and shape required.

Everything is growing rapidly now in the garden and that includes the weeds, so stay to top of the weeding by hoeing or hand weeding them out. Hoeing is best done in the morning so the hoed out weeds will dry and die off in the heat of the day and can’t get their roots re-established in the soil.

Other ways to cut down weeding is by mulching the ground with bark chipping or with the chocolate scented Cocoa shell, which is a by-product of the Cocoa bean. Remember, that the more plants you have in your border, the more shade you will have and therefore make it harder for weeds to germinate.

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