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.

 

Gardening, Gardening Year, Planting, Scott, Weeding

Summer officially runs from June to mid-September when your garden will usually be looking its very best. You can continue the blooms you’ve seen emerge in spring and you will have plenty of time to entertain in the garden now the warm weather is stable. To ensure you enjoy a summer garden that’s filled with colourful flower beds,  preparation is key. Your window of opportunity for this starts around mid-March (depending on the weather) when the warm weather starts to become more consistent and the ground is ready for summer bulbs.

Summer Garden Flowers

When is it too late?

There are no hard-set rules for when it’s too late. But as a rule of thumb, as close to March as you can start work, the better. This gives whatever work you do time to settle, develop and be ready for summer. 

You can be doing work that will bear results in summer as late into the season as you want. But the earlier you start and the sooner you get your preparation done the better your results will be and the longer the season of colourful flowers you can enjoy. 

Reasons to get outdoors now

There’s work to be done

Spring will begin to fill your garden with spots of colour that can be very inspiring. There are few ways you can ensure that trend continues into summer. Check out our March, April and May garden job posts for more details.

Garden Wildlife

Enjoy the sun as soon as it arrives

Preparing your garden now will set you up nicely for when the warm weather becomes more stable so you avoid rushing when the sun hits.

Garden Furniture - Sofa Set

Let your plants really blossom

Preparing your soil and garden beds with a though-out plan will make for a beautiful display come summer.

    • Plan how your flower beds will continue to bloom with colours, patterns and textures
    • Check any bulbs that you’ve stored over winter
    • Keep watering your spring blooms 

Spring Flowers

Get the most from summer

Summer is when your garden shows off its best assets. Putting in a little effort now will only enhance the success of summer.

    • Watch out for pests by using natural techniques like companion planting
    • Begin to mow your lawn often so its lush and green in preparation for the social season

Lawn Mower from Greenworks

What one thing should I definitely do before summer?

The return of warmer weather means the return of life to your garden when things will really start to grow again. That includes all of your beautiful flowers but it also includes weeds. You want to keep on top of weeds as soon as they emerge, otherwise, they could overwhelm and ruin a summer garden.

  1. Use a hand fork to get right under the roots of a weed and pull it right out of the soil
  2. If you break the weed and leave part of the root in the soil and can’t remove it, spray it with a dose of weed killer before covering with polythene to starve it of sunlight.
  3. Collect all of your weeds together and put them in a separate pile – do not put them in your compost heap as they may start growing fresh in your compost!

Garden Weeds

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.

 

Gardening Year, George, How To, Watering, Weeding

prepare your garden for holiday

If you’re going away this summer, the last thing you want is to come back to find your garden overgrown or worse – dying. All your hard work throughout the start of the year gone to waste. So we’ve gathered the top tips on how to prepare your garden before going on holiday. These will give your garden the greatest chance of staying on its best form for your return.

1 – Mowing

A day or two before you leave, make sure to mow the lawn. Avoid the temptation to cut it too short as in hot weather this can cause it to dry out and go brown.

2 – Watering

Keeping your plants hydrated is the biggest challenge of leaving them while you’re away. If you can, ask a friend to go round and water them for you. Otherwise, you could set up an automated watering system with hoses and timers.

If neither of these are possible, then give your plants a thorough watering just before you leave. Move potted plants into the shade and leave them in a saucer of water to soak up moisture throughout your time away. With smaller pots, you can even place them directly into flower beds (watering the ground around them) which helps them stay hydrated. Covering the surface with mulch is also great for locking in moisture.

watering

3 – Harvesting

It always seems a shame to go away on holiday just as your crops are coming to fruition. So pick what you can before leaving, freezing your fruit and veg for later. It’s often best to pick them early as some, like beans and courgettes, go tough if left too long. Alternatively you can welcome a friend to come and harvest while you’re not there (perhaps in exchange for watering!).

4 – Weeding

One of the toughest jobs to keep on top of in the summer months is weeding – they just grow and grow. No one wants to come back from holiday to find their garden overrun with weeds, so it’s worth clearing them out before you go. Also deadhead flowers and remove fully open ones to allow room for a fresh bloom on your return.

Weeding the patio

5 – Ventilating

Sod’s law says it’s bound to be sunny at home whenever you go away, so make sure you garden is ready for the heat. In particular, if you have a greenhouse then keep it ventilated, either with auto vents or leaving the window ajar.

6 – Security

Don’t let your empty garden become a prize for thieves. Lock up any gardening equipment in a shed or outbuilding, and cover up the windows to deter opportunists. You may also consider installing a motion activated security light to ward off robbers while you’re gone.

George at PrimroseGeorge works in the Primrose marketing team. As a lover of all things filmic, he also gets involved with our TV ads and web videos.

George’s idea of the perfect time in the garden is a long afternoon sitting in the shade with a good book. A cool breeze, peace and quiet… But of course, he’s usually disturbed by his energetic wire fox terrier, Poppy!

He writes about his misadventures in repotting plants and new discoveries about cat repellers.

See all of George’s posts.

Flowers, Gardening, Gardens, How To, Liam, Plants, Ponds, Weeding

Water HyacinthWhat to do with pond plants in winter

Pond plants are categorised as hardy or non-hardy which determines how you prepare them for winter, while for some it may be best to throw them away others can be protected and sprout again come spring. Hardy pond plants such as hardy water lilies can be moved to the deeper areas of the pond (at least 18 inches), pruned to the crown and then submerged in the water which will remain warmer than the outside air. For some non-hardy pond plants such as Water Hyacinth or Water Lettuce it may be worth simply to remove them and then replace them come spring. For more expensive non-hardy plants such as tropical Water Lilies you can place them in a tub or bucket and to move them inside to a greenhouse or garage provided the temperature remains above 12°C.

What pond plants survive winter?

Hardy Water Lilies from the Nymphaeaceae family, hardy oxygenators such as Variegated Pennywort or hardy shelf plants such as aquatic Forget-me-nots will all survive winter but how they should be prepared will differ. Depending on the plants preferred growing habitat (i.e deep water, marginal etc) these plants have different methods of preparation if they are to survive through to spring. If the plant is growing in the water, such as Rushes or Iris then you should cut to roughly 20cm above the water line ensuring that the plant does not become submerged otherwise it could drown. Hardy water Lilies or floating plants should be moved to the deepest parts of the pond as the water will stay warmer than the surrounding air. Hardy marginal or moisture loving Perennials should be cut down to as low as 5-10cm.

Water LilyWhat pond plants are the best?

Water Lilies (Nymphaeaceae) are brilliant for adding colour and a subtle beauty to your aquatic space and are among the best plants for your pond. Water forget-me-nots provide a delicate yet bright shade of blue through the summer months and are a pollinators favourite so will be sure to boost the biodiversity in the pond. Hornwort is an essential native oxygenator that will keep ponds of all sizes healthy and clean supporting aquatic life but preventing the growth of weeds and algae. There are a vast number of truly spectacular pond plants, however, depending on what function you want them to serve or what aesthetic you are trying to create some will be wholly better than others.

What pond plants are good for wildlife?

The right pond plants can make your pond a haven for wildlife; oxygenating plants help support aquatic life while floating plants and marginal plants provide shelter and spaces for animals to climb out of the water and rest. Having around 30% of the surface area of your pond covered with plants provides ample shelter while preventing the growth of weeds. Many flowering pond plants are brilliant for attracting bees including Iris stocks and Pontederia.

Pond ReedsWhat pond plants are oxygenators?

Oxygenating pond plants are those which photosynthesis underwater releasing oxygen into the water which can be incredibly beneficial to your pond supporting aquatic life and preventing the growth of weeds and algae. Varieties include Slender Club Rush Scripus cernuus which is an outstanding oxygenating plant for your pond as it retains its luscious shade of green throughout the year with tiny white flowers emerging in the summer. Common Water Starwort – Callitriche autumnalis floats on the surface growing a thick oxygenating layer providing shade and shelter for aquatic life and preventing the growth of weeds.

How to keep the water clear in a pond

The best way to keep your pond water clear is regular maintenance including removing any twigs, leaves or algae from the surface to prevent decay and regularly checking the health and vitality of your pond plants. In addition to this routinely cleaning the ponds water filter and draining your pond annually to clean the bottom and sides will go a long way to keeping your pond clean and looking great.

Water LilyWhat causes pond plants to die?

There are a number of reasons as to why you pond plant may be dying including lack of sunlight, murky or toxic water, planted at an incorrect depth or an incorrect temperature. It is important to always check the specific plant requirements and upkeep a cleaning routine to ensure the health and vitality of the pond. Make sure there is enough space between the plants and none of them are becoming too deprived of light. Remove dead plant matter and this can decay and encourage the growth of weeds which will add competition for nutrients and light. Additionally it may be necessary to check the pH of your pond water if several plants appear to be dying at the same time and to clean the bottom of any toxic sludge that has developed.

Are water lilies poisonous (to cats/dogs)?

Water lilies are not true lilies and are instead a part of the genus Nymphaea and so are not poisonous to cats but still can be poisonous to dogs if ingested in large amounts. It is, however, essential to check which species as the White Water Lily is not poisonous but the Yellow Water Lilies are poisonous. Symptoms of poisoning in cats or dogs includes lethargy, diarrhea, vomiting and depression.

If you are a fan of pond plants  head over to our website where we have many to choose from.

Liam at PrimroseLiam works in the buying team at Primrose. He is passionate about studying other cultures, especially their history. A lover of sports his favourite pass-time is football, either playing or watching it! In the garden Liam is particularly interested in growing your own food.

See all of Liams posts.