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Gardening Advice Blog

Welcome to the CountryLife Gardening Blog, written by our horticulturist to provide you with the best tips & advice for all things gardening!  We have been shortlisted for Best Lifestyle Blog in the Littlewoods Ireland Blog Awards 2016 Company Category. 

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June in the garden

by User Not Found | Jun 04, 2014

June marks Summer Solstice - the longest day in the year. It means that your plants are getting more daylight than in any other month. This will encourage a burst of growth so your plants will need a lot of attention.

Flowers
Keep your plants healthy and pests free. Give hanging baskets and patio pots a weekly liquid feed of Gro-sure/Miracle gro tomato food or all purpose feed. Spray your roses fortnightly with Rose clear to protect them from pests and diseases such greenfly and blackspot . Don’t let pests build up on plants; spray as necessary to or cut out infected growth.
Don’t forget to give tall and climbing plants some support. Plants such as delphiniums, lupins and phlox grow quite tall and its best to support them before they get blown over. Tie in sweet peas and start picking if they are in flower.

Pruning. Deadhead flowering annuals and perennials as they finish flowering if you don’t intend to save seeds, this will give the plant more energy to produce more flowers. Prune and deadhead any spring flowering shrubs.  Leave bulbs in the beds and plant plants that will cover those spaces and flower all summer like Geraniums, Alchemilla and Campanula.
 


Greenhouse
Busy greenhouse. This month you will need to keep an eye out for pests, including whitefly and red spider mite, and treat with Bug spray at once if they appear. Feed flowering plants such as tomato, pepper and aubergine with tomato food every 10 days, once their flowers appear. Make sure to water consistently in between feeds and don’t let plants dry out. Pinch out the side shoots of tomatos as they grow and tie in the plant with bamboo or string tied to the roof.  

Fruit & Veg
Now is a good time to plant out squash, pumpkin, courgette and sweetcorn. Continue sowing peas and salad crops every three weeks for continuous supply. This is called “succession sowing”. Stop cutting asparagus by the end of June to allow the ferns to form.

Potatoes. Earth up potatoes for if they need it and add some chicken manure pellets at the same time. Early potatoes are ready to dig once the flowers open but if you like ‘floury’ potatoes its best to wait until the stems die back and turn a straw colour.

War with slugs continues. Slugs devastate seedlings and other soft plants, especially when the weather is warm and wet. Set slug pellets or slug traps and clear them each morning.

Slugs are not your only enemy. Protect your crops from hungry birds and butterflies and cover the cabbages and strawberries with plant protection netting.

Around the Garden
Lawn care.  Keep on top of mowing and weeding; don’t cut the grass too close in dry conditions. You can also add lawn cuttings to your compost heap.
Water your containers on a daily basis, especially when the weather is warm.
Don’t forget to water newly plant trees and shrubs in dry weather as their roots need plenty of water to get established.

Jean’s Bio  
Hi my name is Jean, I am a horticulturist with CountryLife in the Ashford branch. I grew up on a farm where we always had a veg garden, so you could say that horticulture and agriculture is in the blood! I studied Landscape Horticulture in UCD and worked part-time in Fernhill Garden Centre, Athlone while I was in college. After graduating I worked in Landscape Architecture for three years before returning to the Garden Centre trade. I began in Keane’s Garden Centre, Kilcolgan, Co Galway and returned to Fernhill Garden Centre for three years before joining CountryLife.  Being a horticulturalist is a great job, you are surrounded by nature every day and there is always something to be done. Meeting customers and giving the advice is very rewarding especially when they report back positive results. I love growing my own fruit and veg and I’m always trying new varieties and ways of growing. The seasons are always changing and while the weather is challenging in Ireland, I believe we grow the best produce in the world.