Allotment, Gary, Grow Your Own, Herbs, Insects, Pest Control, Planting, Vegetables

June is an important month for the allotment or home grower – the risk of frost is now gone and the days are getting longer and hotter, meaning now is peak growing season for a lot of plants and seedlings. Here’s what’s going on this month: 

Harvesting 

Harvest beetroot

You will be able to lift your early potatoes towards the end of the month and start harvesting soft fruits as soon as they have ripened.  It’s also time to start harvesting

  • Beetroot
  • Broad beans
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Early peas
  •  Lettuce
  •  Rhubarb
  •  spring onions
  •  Radish
  •  Spinach

Sowing and Planting

prepare your garden soil

Now is the time to start sowing seeds for: 

  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbages
  • Cauliflowers
  •  Celeriac
  •  Courgettes
  •  Outdoor cucumbers
  •  French and runner beans
  •  Leeks
  •  Pumpkins
  •  Sweetcorn

Remember that all plants are different, so always follow the instructions on the packet. Outdoor tomatoes can now be planted into their final position, and you can start successional sowings of :

  • Beetroot
  • Kohl rabi
  •  Lettuce 
  •  Winter cabbage 

General

Summer

  • Feed Tomatoes  
  • Protect Fruit 
  • Hoe Weeds 
  • Train in climbing beans 
  •  Put in supports for peas.
  •  Top dress Asparagus them with soil or fertilizer ready for next year
  • Keep plants growing under glass well watered

Pests and Diseases

Aphids  – spraying your brassicas with diluted washing up liquid will deter them from landing on your crops. You can buy insecticides if you prefer, including a fatty acid soap to spray on the plants.

Carrot fly –   a particular problem between May and September when female flies lay their eggs the best defence to cover plants with horticultural fleece or place two-foot high barriers around the plants.

Cabbage root fly– attacking the roots of brassicas, these flies can cause a lot of damage to your plants. Female flies lay the eggs on the surface of the soil next to the stem of the plant. Place a piece of carpet (or cardboard or fleece) around the base of the plant to create a collar, this will stop the flies from laying their eggs on the soil. 

Birds, Gardening Year, Planting, Scott, Watering, Weeding

In June you will often get the longest days of the year, which means more sun and more growing time for your garden plants. You can achieve a beautiful abundant outdoors in June if properly managed and planned. Be wary, the extra hours of light will also be helping weeds so it’s important to keep on top of things to enjoy the best of what June has to offer your garden. 

General

garden lawn

  • Water your lawn: an inch of water a week on your grass will be enough to keep it from going brown. Deep watering once a week is much better than regular watering every day.
  • Control weeds: use a handheld fork to remove individual weeds from the root.
  • Plant summer beds: get your summer bedding plants into the soil so they can take advantage of the extra hours of light.
  • Check and water: check the soil around your plants regularly, digging your finger into the soil to see if there is moisture underneath. Water accordingly when the soil appears too dry. 

Plants

summer bedding

  • Protect from pests: most aphids can be dealt with using a spray bottle filled with a simple solution of water and a little washing-up liquid. This will deal with greenfly and aphids without damaging to the plant. 
  • Plant out summer bedding: fill your flower beds and borders for a colourful display. Discover our selection of summer bedding plants. 
  • Grow sunflowers: now is a great time to grow sunflowers from seed; a fun project for getting the kids involved with the outdoors. 
  • Sow Nigella seeds: these unusual looking flowers can fill an area of your garden with charming blue whilst providing pollen for bees and butterflies.
  • Sow Nasturtium seeds: these colourful plants are fast-growing and will quickly fill any gaps you have in your bedding. They can also be trained up trellises and such to provide interest at different heights. 

Animals

Blue Tit on a branch

  • Top up birdbaths: keep your birdbath topped up to provide a place to drink, wash and cool down. 
  • Top up bird tables: this time of year most birds will be collecting bugs for their young (a bonus for pest control) but bird tables and feeders are still needed for a quick energy top-up for parents as they do this.
  • Avoid trimming hedges: be careful when trimming hedges as birds can be nesting inside
  • Allow some weeds to flourish: letting a small part of your lawn to grow wild will be incredibly beneficial for all sorts of wildlife. I can provide a habitat for insects which in turn will support the growth of birds. 

What June gardening jobs have you been up to this month? Let us know on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram!

Scott at PrimroseScott Roberts is a copywriter currently making content for the Primrose site and blog. When at his desk he’s thinking of new ways to describe a garden bench. Away from his desk he’s either looking at photos of dogs or worrying about the environment. He does nothing else, just those two things.

See all of Scott’s posts.

 

Decoration, Flowers, Gardening, How To, Planting, Plants, Watering

How to Choose and Care for Bedding Plants

Bedding plants are a wonderful way to add liveliness to your garden and make it your own. They can transform beds with their differing colours, and will help support our precious pollinators. With so many bedding plants to choose from, you may feel unsure of where to begin; read on for all of the advice you need for choosing and caring for your bedding plants.

What is a Bedding Plant?

A bedding plant can be an annual, biennial, or tender perennial, that is planted into a flower bed to build a seasonal arrangement. After a bedding plant’s season of interest has ended, they will likely be replaced by another plant, and put away or discarded. 

Bedding plants will happily grow in hanging baskets, pots, and raised beds. They are therefore suitable for all forms of outdoor space, ranging from a small balcony, to vast grounds.  

How do I Choose the Right Bedding Plant?

Before identifying the best bedding plants for your garden, pay close attention to your chosen location, and perhaps ask the following questions: 

  • How many hours of direct sun does the location receive per day?
  • Are there deciduous trees that might limit sunlight come spring?
  • What is the state of the soil? Is it damp? Are there lots of stones?

Our guide below will help you decide what degree of shade your location receives:

Preparing your Soil

If you are planting into your garden’s beds, carefully rake through the soil to remove stones and large clods. This will make sure that evaporation isn’t prevented, and a good amount of moisture is kept.

Whether you are planting in pots, raised beds, baskets, or directly into a flower bed, you should always opt for multi-purpose compost. Multi-purpose compost will form a nutrient rich environment for a range of bedding plants, and will also absorb and retain moisture.

What Colours Should I Choose?

Before deciding which colour scheme to embrace, consider how intricate you want your display to be. Mostly done professionally, carpet bedding requires a large range of shades to be planted closely together, however, a simple hanging basket will look beautiful with as little as one variety. For a flower bed, we recommend that you choose four varieties for each season.

Cool Colour Schemes

How to Choose and Care for Bedding Plants

If you wish to evoke a tranquil atmosphere, light blue, lilac, pastel yellow, and white are excellent for doing so. Paler Petunia varieties, such as ‘Blue Vein’ or ‘Beautiful French Vanilla’, can feature subtle, darker markings, which can help break up your colour scheme, without drawing focus away from other plants.

Warm Colour Schemes

How to Choose and Care for Bedding Plants

For a bold colour scheme, choose shades that lie opposite to one another on the colour wheel. Possible pairings include purple and yellow, red and green, and blue and orange. Presenting trailing, funnel-shaped blooms, Surfinias are available in an array of colours, so will make an unfailing choice for your garden.

Should I Buy Plug Plants or Seeds?

Seeds and plug plants each come with their positives and negatives. Seeds can be considerably cheaper than plug plants, yet they are harder to grow. They require more time and care, and unfortunately germination isn’t guaranteed. 

Unlike seeds, plug plants can be expensive; this particularly applies to larger plants, as their roots are more established. However, plug plants can fill a flower bed with pretty blooms within a matter of weeks; making them a convenient option. 

How do I Grow Bedding Plants from Seed?

To successfully grow bedding plants from seed, you will need 10cm pots, peat-free compost, bedding seeds of your choosing, and vermiculite or finely sieved compost.

  • Fill each pot with your compost, and delicately pat it down.
  • Sow your seeds over the compost, ensuring that they are distanced equally. 
  • Apply a layer of finely sieved compost or vermiculite. This will provide gentle cover for your seeds.
  • Label your pots so you can cater to any unique requirements that a variety might have. 
  • Once each pot has had a nourishing drink, place them into a heated propagator to allow germination.
  • When seedlings have developed, prick out those of the largest size, and re-plant into individual containers.

How do I Grow Potted Bedding Plants?

If the risk of frost has passed, larger plugs can be planted straight into your garden. To ensure continued growing, smaller plug plants should be re-planted into containers or pots. For this you will need a pencil, multi-purpose compost, perlite, a dibber, and 7- 8cm pots. 

  • To remove your bedding plants from their containers, carefully push them upwards from their base with a pencil.
  • Fill 7 – 8cm pots with a mix of multi-purpose compost and perlite.
  • Employing a dibber, make a hole in each pot that slightly exceeds the size of your plants.
  • Taking great care, tease out your plants’ roots, and then place them into their holes.

How do I Care for my Bedding Plants?

  • Watering: If your bedding plants are in pots or baskets, they will benefit from daily watering. Even on a rainy day, this advice still applies; a bedding plant’s foliage can provide impressive shelter. For flower beds, a weekly drink will be sufficient. 
  • Deadheading: Any flowers that appear spent should be removed from their base. This will stop your plant from wasting energy by producing seeds. 
  • Flower feed: Supplement one watering a week with a potassium-rich feed. Most composts contain a finite amount of food, so we recommend that you start using feed a month after they were planted out. 
Flowers, Gardening, How To, Planting, Plants, Uncategorized

Often found flourishing in the midst of a sunny border, finding the perfect perennials to plant in the darker corners of your garden can require a little more thinking. Read on for eight of our favourite, shade-loving perennials.

Each perennial advertised is potted, enabling you to plant them directly into your garden, and enjoy a beautiful display merely a matter of weeks later.

Perennials for Deep Shade

Deep shade exists when walls or trees shelter the ground from sunlight for the majority of the day.  

The Best Perennials for Shade

Polemonium ‘Northern Lights’

A good styling tip for your garden’s darker corners is to incorporate some light blue flowers; light blue is wonderful for bringing brightness to spaces lacking in colour. Polemonium ‘Northern Lights’ is particularly ideal for this, as this variety will introduce these delicate blue tones, yet will thrive in shade and tolerate most soils. The golden staminodes offset beautifully against each petal, and the ladder-like stems act as a platform from which each flower can project; creating excellent structure.

Hosta ‘Snake Eyes’

Aside from boasting beautiful greenery, hostas will relish the shade. A useful guide to follow is that the darker the hosta’s foliage, the darker its location can be. With each leaf sporting a deep, muted green shade, and a variegated, emerald centre, ‘Snake Eyes’ will add a unique edge to shaded areas. 

Belonging to the lily family, hostas are suited to damp conditions, so this variety will thrive in a bog garden.

Perennials for Dappled Shade

Dappled shade is created when trees and shrubs partially block sunlight via their leaves, resulting in small speckles of sun reaching the ground.

The Best Perennials for Shade

Campanula ‘’Iridescent Bells’

Bearing pale lilac, trumpet-shaped flowers that gracefully nod from their delicate stems, this campanula variety will add charming movement and shapes to spaces shadowed by trees and shrubs.

If the planting location you have in mind presently has no other perennials, the tall height of this campanula will effortlessly forge beautiful structure, making this plant a clever choice.

The Best Perennials for Shade

Geum ‘Mai Tai’

Bearing sumptuous, apricot-toned blooms, Geum ‘Mai Tai’ will grace your garden with subtle hints of peach, bronze, and yellow; perfect for adding some summary warmth to the shadier spots of your garden.

Perennials for Partial Shade

The Best Perennials for Shade

Anemone ‘Wild Swan’

A great way to bring a touch of radiance to darker corners is to use white and yellow; these shades will also evoke a calming feel with your garden. Sporting crisp white petals that harmonise with the yellow stamens they encircle, ‘Wild Swan’ will appear radiant in the sun, and will illuminate your garden’s shaded corners. 

With a lengthy flowering period spanning from May through to November, this Anemone will prove an unfailing perennial for your garden.

The Best Perennials for Shade

Brunnera ‘Jack Frost’

Relishing shaded areas, and each presenting unique foliage, brunneras are a wonderful choice areas receiving partial shade. 

Just like ‘Wild Swan’, this beautiful brunnera will shine under the sun, yet bring lustre to shadier spots. A rosette of large, heart-shaped leaves will rest not far above the ground, and during spring, delicate purple blooms will emerge. Nevertheless, ‘Jack Frost’ owes its commended distinctiveness to its stunning silver sheen, decorated by intricate, muted green veins.

The Best Perennials for Shade

Dianthus ‘Memories’ 

If you are seeking to add a luxurious touch to shaded corners, pale, ruffled blooms will create graceful silhouettes and movements within your garden. Free-flowering, and offering a spiced fragrance, Dianthus ‘Memories’ will ornament darker spaces with white double flowers, and will happily grow within a container.