Updated: Jul 3, 2019
That might seem like an odd title for a blog... But, I feel it describes this month well as it is not unusual to experience great contrasts from one day to the next....
All the tell-tale signs of summer are here; the smell of barbecues on a weeknight, mosquitoes buzzing around the house while you try to sleep, plant growth rapidly increasing, and soon we will enjoy the longest day of the year, the summer solstice.
Yet, it isn't uncommon in June to have a conversation with your postman or taxi driver about the weather, during which you act in mock surprise over the torrential downpour that day, remarking something along the lines of, "It's meant to be our summer!" We're not strangers to this of course...
So, what should you do in your garden during this unpredictable month?
Gardening in hot weather
Well, during those blisteringly hot and sunny spells (not today, sadly), you should keep your garden really well-watered, particularly plants in containers, young vegetables, and newly-planted plants. Did you know it is better to give one area a good soaking each night, rather than trying to water everything but to a lesser degree? Focus on one area at a time, thoroughly wetting the area, because doing this will provide the plants with an adequate water supply for up to a week, and moreover, it will encourage the roots to search deeper for the water, which is better overall because plants with roots near the surface are more vulnerable in droughts.
Mulching with bark chippings is also highly recommended during warm weather spells as it helps retain water in the soil as well as suppressing the growth of weeds. Make sure the soil is damp before applying the chippings, otherwise it will only serve to keep the soil nice and dry, which your plants will not like.
Weed, weed, go away...
Weeding is, of course, still an important task during the summer as the weeds may still be smaller now and less established. You can use a hoe or just your hands to remove weeds. Weed on a dry day and leave the weeds on the top of the soil as they will wither in the heat.
Fertilise tired lawns
Liquid lawn fertiliser is a great choice for a tired-looking lawn, applied with a watering can or a sprayer. Remember, regular mows are essential (preferably twice a week if time permits) as the lawn will remain healthier if less is cut each time, and cutting with a shorter blade will also help to prevent dry patches.
It might as well rain until September...
But what is a gardener to do on those wet and rainy days? Firstly, pulling up weeds is far easier when the soil is wet! The rain also makes a great addition to your compost; mix the wet layers with the dryer compost beneath to ensure you get a rich and nutritious mix. You may want to protect vulnerable plants by covering them during downpours with a tarpaulin. And finally, one plant that doesn't mind being waterlogged is delicious watercress! So, take advantage of the unpredictability of June and sow some watercress seeds half an inch deep in some moist compost.
Need advice on what to do in your garden this month? We can help you keep up with the regular maintenance of your lawn, flower beds, pot plants, vegetable patches, and so on... We have years of experience in the area and a team of keen and skilled gardeners ready to assist!
Thank you for reading,
Olive Tree Gardens
Your local gardening services company, based in St Albans
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