June in the Garden with David Williams

Your garden should be growing like mad and will be ready to burst into bloom at this time of the year! Be prepared to be busy in the garden...

Your garden should be growing like mad and will be ready to burst into bloom at this time of the year! Be prepared to be busy in the garden as with the weather generally being warmer and the days longer and sunnier it means that everything will be growing at a rate of an inch a week!

With this rate of growth you will need to keep staking and tying up this month. It is particularly the perennials that flop over very easily, especially after heavy rain or strong winds. Keep an eye on any plants you feel are at risk of falling so that you can support them accordingly.

If you have not yet done so there is still some time to get your tender perennials planted out. These are great for filling in gaps or just adding colour to your borders. I like to keep a few tender perennials growing in pots ready to pop into the border when a gap appears, such as when spring bulbs finish or when you have cut back another perennial.

Another way to keep your borders flowering is to water regularly during dry periods and keep up with the dead heading, the more you dead head the more flower heads will grow.

Just as the garden is bursting into flower for this year we need to think about next year. June is the time to start sowing biennials and perennials for next year. Wall flowers need to be sown direct in the soil; a line sown in the vegetable garden is ideal. You will need to space them out very thinly as they grow into very bushy plants that will be ready to plant out in your borders in October. Sow your perennials in pots using gritty compost and place in a cold frame.

Like everything else in the garden the hedges will also be growing well and will need a tidy up, especially where they are growing around gates and along paths. One type of hedge that will definitely need a cut is box as there is nothing nicer than a well-cut box hedge or clipped topiary. I think it really sets the garden off.

Do make sure that you disinfect the shears and clippers every time you move on to a new hedge or piece of topiary, this will help prevent the spread of box blight should you have any of it on your plants.

Don’t forget to net your soft fruit as it starts to ripen, this will keep all the birds from having them for lunch! In the vegetable garden, keep up with the succession of sowing lettuce, radish and rocket so you get a constant supply of salad all summer long. It’s also time to start sowing your winter crops such as cauliflower, broccoli and cabbage; this will keep up your harvest throughout the winter months.P&