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“Summer is a-coming in, Sing cuckoo” so sang medieval songsters, and we hope each year that June is going to be warm and sunny. Days are very much longer now with 21st June being the longest day so gardeners have plenty of daylight hours to get in everything that needs to be done.

The risks of frost should now be past so bedding plants can be planted out for stunning displays whether in the border or in hanging baskets and containers. All will need regular watering and feeding. If the weather is very warm check the watering daily as containers dry out very quickly.

Check the vegetable patch as early crops should be ready for harvesting and you can continue to sow other crops like lettuces for a continual supply. Potatoes should be earthed-up to boost the crop, and first earlies will be ready for harvesting.

Ensure your fruit trees have enough water when the fruits are swelling. After what is know as the “June drop” when trees shed surplus fruit you can thin any that are still too many to give you fruits of a decent size.

You can encourage bedding plants to grow strongly and flower well with feeding. Soluble plant foods are very easy to use and are economical especially if you invest in a hose-end feeder which enables you to feed and water in one go.

While weeds can be dug out of flower borders fairly easily it is very hard to remove them from the lawn without leaving a nasty mess and bare patches, so it is best to use a special selective weedkiller. For spot weeding choose a special lawn weedkiller such as Verdone Extra that can kill broadleaved weeds without doing any harm whatsoever to the grass.  Combined feed and weed products are easy and economical to use as they do two jobs at once.

Remember that ericaceous plants such as heathers, rhododendrons, azaleas, and camellias will appreciate soft rainwater, especially if your tap water is ‘hard’ and leaves a chalk deposit in your kettle. If watering with ‘hard’ tap water becomes essential, add a couple of drops of vinegar to each gallon of water before watering these acid-loving plants. A water butt is a useful and environmentally sound way of conserving rainwater for use in your garden.

Some plants which look at their best at this time of year include many Clematis varieties, Philadelphus (Mock Orange) you will be able to smell this before you see it, and if you have a pond, beautiful Water lilies.  

The old enemies are still around so watch out for slugs, snails, and aphids and also, if you are growing brassicas, cabbage white butterfly eggs on the undersides of the leaves. You can rub them off or wash them away before they hatch.

Wildlife Gardening for June

Continue to put out food for the birds.

Make sure the bird bath is clean and full of fresh water.

Try to trim hedges less frequently to give shelter and food for wildlife.

Be careful not to disturb nesting birds when working around the garden.

Choose a wildlife friendly slug control such as Vitax Slug Gone.

Feed hedgehogs with dog food (not chicken varieties) not bread and milk.

Leave roses which produce hips without dead-heading.

There is still time to put up a bat box.

What to grow from seed during June

Seeds to sow for colour next year: Delphiniums, Forget-me-not (myosotis), Lupins, Scabious, Sweet Williams, Wallflowers, and Winter-flowering pansies

But for this year there is still time for: Calendulas (Marigolds), Candytuft, Nasturtiums, Poached egg plant (Limnanthes), and Sunflowers

In the vegetable plot: Beetroot, Carrots, Lettuce, Peas, Radish, Salad leaves, Spring Onions, Swede, and Turnips

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The Garden CentreTo Visit in Essex

We have parking spaces for up to 450 cars and easy access both onto and off of the A127, which is the main dual-carriage way into Southend-on-Sea. The A127 is off Junction 29 of the M25 which is a 10 minute drive to our door. Plan your visit to Summerhill today. We can’t wait to see you.

Summerhill Garden Centre, Pipps Hill Road North, A127 Arterial Road, Billericay, Essex CM11 2UJ