As I sit here writing my introduction to this month’s seasonal gardening tips this early morning, I can see blue sky and sunshine from my window and hear the birds singing their beautiful morning song.
It is so lovely to have some sun after a few drab and dreary days, perfect for doing a spot of gardening or taking your little ones out for a nature walk!
Being June there is much to do in the garden or on your allotment, plus some lovely sights and sounds to enjoy all around such as dragonflies, butterflies, moths, birds collecting food for their nestlings and even bats and badgers.
As with each month, here’s a blog post below from my good friend and keen gardener, Sarah Clapham offering some great seasonal gardening and nature tips for June, all of which will help you and your children make the most of this lovely month.
Sarah’s Seasonal Gardening Tips for June:
On the vegetable plot…
Sow runner beans directly into watered soil. Before doing so create a wigwam or framework from canes for the beans to grow up. I usually plant two beans at the bottom of each cane. Watch out for slugs, they adore the plants as much as we enjoy eating the beans!
There are countless seeds you can sow now and continue to sow for a regular supply. Beetroot, carrots, chard and lettuce will all grow quickly and the former veg can be picked when small and tender.
Courgette, squash, fennel and broccoli (below picture) can be sown direct or planted out as small plants if you’ve been growing from seed in pots.
You may have an array of produce to pick now including early potatoes, peas, broad beans, beetroot, summer salads and soft fruits.
If you do grow strawberries, fruit bushes or cabbages it’s a good idea to cover them with net to protect from local birds!
If it’s warm keep plants well watered, either first thing in the morning or evening is best.
Enjoy some outdoor feasts!
General gardening jobs…
With the weather reliably mild there are plenty of things to do in the garden this month. As ever the weeds and grass will be growing at a pace so a regular mowing and weeding keeps things under control. If the weeds are getting you down you can mulch (layer) around your plants with all kinds of organic matter e.g. bark chippings, compost or manure.
Have a go at taking softwood cuttings from shrubs such as hebe, hydrangea, cornus and berberis. There is plenty of advice on the internet and if you’re successful it’s a way of producing more plants for your garden for free!
Remove dead foliage from daffodils, snowdrops and bluebells. The bulb will lie dormant under the ground until next spring.
Tulip bulbs don’t enjoy being left in the ground so you can dig these up gently and store them, spread out, in a cool, airy place until autumn comes again.
Support plants that are likely to be damaged by the wind. You can buy supports or if you fancy a project have a go a making supports with canes, string and willow that has been softened in the bath over night.
If you grow roses watch out for black spot or powdery mildew. Pull off leaves that show signs as soon as possible and hopefully avoid using chemical sprays.
Things to look out for in June…
Elder blooms, white and scented are growing in many places around Bristol (see picture above). Pick in full sun and have a go at making elderflower cordial or fritters.
Honeysuckle, bramble flowers, foxgloves, ox-eye daisy, herb robert and bird’s foot trefoil are all abundant.
Bird breeding season is in full swing so there might not be quite as much bird chatter around! The adult birds are also incredibly busy collecting food for their ravenous nestlings.
Warm nights bring bats, badgers and moths out to hunt and play.
Many varieties of butterflies will make an appearance in June, look out for the common blue (top picture) or peacock. www.britishbutterflies.co.uk is a useful guide.
Near ponds and waterways you may see damselflies or dragonflies (above), they are beautifully coloured and flit around low to the ground.
Swifts, swallows and house martins can be seen chasing insects to eat mid air.