Flaming June, and the flowers are at their dazzling best, the sun is out more often than not and the evenings are luxuriously long. What better place to be than out in your garden? Here are a few of the jobs you can be getting on with while you’re there:
- Burn weeds off paths with a flame gun – it’s a great way of avoiding chemicals and burns out the roots of the plants so they won’t regrow.
- Trim box hedges to keep them neat, keeping an eye out for signs of box blight or box tree caterpillar. If you see them, pick up a treatment from the garden centre and tackle the problem right away.
- Do the Chelsea chop cutting back herbaceous perennials like sedum, heleniums and rudbeckia by a third to a half to promote sturdier plants which don’t need staking and extra flowers, too.
- Remove and destroy lily beetles as soon as you see them. They’re easy to recognise with their brilliant scarlet wing cases; they and their larvae munch voraciously on leaves, stripping plants within weeks.
- Water and feed hanging baskets to keep them productive and full of flowers for as long as possible. Water whenever the compost is dry and add liquid feed to the water once a week.
- Tie in cordon tomatoes as they grow, remembering to pinch out any sideshoots that appear in the junction between the leaves and the main stem too.
- Hoe between rows of crops to keep annual weeds at bay, chopping them off before they can get established and, worse, set seed.
- Put up pheromone traps to control codling and plum moths; hang the easy-to-use box, available from the garden centre, in the tree to capture males so that females lay fewer fertile eggs.