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Garden Ideas for June


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Looking for ideas for what to do in the garden in June? Well, look no further as we have compiled a list of garden jobs to keep you busy throughout the month.

How to take softwood cuttings


Many plants can be propagated in summer from the new growth made during the current season, before it begins to harden. These are known as softwood or soft-tip cuttings.

The difficulty rating for this garden job is 3 out of 5 and you will need: Secateurs, rooting hormone powder, pot, compost, cover

Step One:

Remove a healthy shoot from the plant you wish to propagate. Take a tip cutting about 10cm long, cutting just below a leaf joint where the concentration of natural rooting hormones is highest. You can also take cuttings from the rest of the shoot, without the tip.

Step 1 of 4How to take softwood cuttings

Step Two:

Remove the leaves from the lower one third of the cutting. They may rot if they are in contact with damp compost and could infect the cuttings.

Step 2 of 4How to take softwood cuttings

Step Three:

Dip the base of the cutting in clean, fresh rooting powder and tap off any excess. Push the cutting into moist, sterile cuttings compost. You can fit several in a pot.

Step 3 of 4How to take softwood cuttings

Step Four:

Cover with a propagator lid, plastic bag or improvised cover like this drinks bottle. Place in a well-lit spot out of direct sun. Keep moist. Roots should begin to emerge in 6-8 weeks, when the cuttings can be gently removed and potted separately.

Step 4 of 4How to take softwood cuttings

How to care for Camellias


As they finish flowering camelias, especially those in containers, can start to look tired. So May is a good time to give them a bit of attention to get them ready for next year.

The difficulty rating for this garden job is 2 out of 5 and you will need: Secateurs, Fertiliser, Watering Can

Step One:

Remove the last of the dying flowers being careful not to damage the nearby growth buds.

Step 1 of 4How to care for Camellias

Step Two:

Carefully pick off any yellowing or damaged leaves.

Step 2 of 4How to care for Camellias

Step Three:

Add a dressing of Ericaceous (acidic) fertiliser around the base of the plant and mix it into the upper layer of soil gently with a fork.

Step 3 of 4How to care for Camellias

Step Four:

Water well so that the fertiliser begins to wash down to the roots.

Step 4 of 4How to care for Camellias

How to water when on Holiday


Going on holiday means that you will not be able to water your plants. This might not be an issue for plants in borders but can prove a real problem for plants in containers.

The difficulty rating for this garden job is 1 out of 5 and you will need: Tray, Plastic Bag, Watering Can, Spade

Step One:

Stand large pots in watertight bin liners and water them well.

Step 1 of 4How to water when on Holiday

Step Two:

Tie the bag loosely to reduce evaporation.

Step 2 of 4How to water when on Holiday

Step Three:

Plunge pots in the borders. This allows plants to draw up water from the surrounding soil as well as keeping the roots shaded and cool.

Step 3 of 4How to water when on Holiday

Step Four:

Place houseplants in a shallow tray with a small amount of water in the base. Grouping plants together traps hudmidity underneath the leaves reducing water stress.

Step 4 of 4How to water when on Holiday

How to Care for Early-Flowering Clematis


Clematis that flower early in the season, like Clematis alpina, benefit from attention immediately after flowering to keep them healthy and make sure they flower well the following year.

The difficulty rating for this garden job is 1 out of 5 and you will need: Secateurs, Shears, Fertiliser, Hand Fork, Gloves

Step One:

Train new shoots into the support structure as they grow so they stay where they are supposed to be and do not suffer damage blowing in the wind.

Step 1 of 4How to Care for Early-Flowering Clematis

Step Two:

Any excess growth can be trimmed off with secateurs, especially if there is a danger of the weight pulling the plant off the support.

Step 2 of 4How to Care for Early-Flowering Clematis

Step Three:

If you need to do more drastic pruning, do it now as the plant will have the maximum time to recover and flower again next year. Trimming with shears will keep the plant from becoming unruly.

Step 3 of 4How to Care for Early-Flowering Clematis

Step Four:

Every time you prune, you should feed because you are removing the leaves and shoots that provide nourishment for the plant and it needs replacing. Lightly fork fertiliser into the soil around the base and water well so it begins to wash down to the rooting zone.

Step 4 of 4How to Care for Early-Flowering Clematis

How to Divide Early Summer-Flowering Iris


There are two main reasons to divide early summer-flowering iris, like Iris germanica: either you want to make more plants and spread them around the garden or you notice that, as they spread, the middle of the clump dies off as it becomes congested. Dividing the clump gives the plants more room to grow and the old, unproductive centre can be discarded.

The difficulty rating for this garden job is 2 out of 5 and you will need: Fork, Secateurs

Step One:

Start by lifting the plants with a fork.

Step 1 of 4How to Divide Early Summer-Flowering Iris

Step Two:

Wash the roots so you can see where you are working, then identify where the clump can be separated. Each new plant needs a shoot and a portion of the rhizome (underground stem) complete with roots.

Step 2 of 4How to Divide Early Summer-Flowering Iris

Step Three:

In order to reduce the stress on the Iris when you plant it, reduce the leaves by two-thirds in a fan shape, using clean, sharp secateurs.

Step 3 of 4How to Divide Early Summer-Flowering Iris

Step Four:

Plant the new pieces of Iris with the rhizome on, or only just below, the surface of the soil. This is because the plant will not flower if the rhizome fails to get receive enough sunlight in summer. Water well to settle the plants into the soil again.

Step 4 of 4How to Divide Early Summer-Flowering Iris

How to repair a lawn - Patches


Even the best lawns sometimes suffer localised damage. It might be caused by a pet, moss, birds scratching or something left standing on the lawn for too long and killing off the grass. By acting quickly, you can replace the lost grass plants and help your lawn look lovely again.

The difficulty rating for this garden job is 2 out of 5 and you will need: Spring-tined Rake, Grass Seed, Compost, Horticultural Fleece, Canes

Step One:

Use a spring-tined rake to comb through the grass, removing any debris and making the blades stand upright so you have access to the soil.

Step 1 of 4How to repair a lawn - Patches

Step Two:

Mix the grass seed with some moist multipurpose compost in a pot to give the seedlings an easy medium to begin rooting into. Scatter generously over the area.

Step 2 of 4How to repair a lawn - Patches

Step Three:

Birds love grass seed and will eat it all if you let them. A small piece of horticultural fleece will keep them off while still allowing light to reach the seedlings.

Step 3 of 4How to repair a lawn - Patches

Step Four:

Hold the fleece in place with short canes. In summer, the seed should germinate within days and the cover can be removed after about a week.

Step 4 of 4How to repair a lawn - Patches

How to turf a lawn


Laying turf to create a lawn gives an instant effect and laying it properly means it will be easier to look after for years to come. Seek out good quality turf, preferably from a specialist and choose a time when the weather is mild and the soil warm.

The difficulty rating for this garden job is 3 out of 5 and you will need: Spade, rake, turf, board.

Step One:

A good lawn is a long-term project, so start with a good base. Good drainage is essential, so dig over (if necessary) to loosen the soil, then rake to level it and remove stones. Add fertiliser and rake lightly into the soil.

Step 1 of 4How to turf a lawn

Step Two:

Starting at the furthest point, unroll the turf and lay it along a straight edge. It should be green and healthy-looking, not yellow.

Step 2 of 4How to turf a lawn

Step Three:

Lay brick-pattern, so the joints are staggered and press firmly so each roll is in good contact with the soil beneath.

Step 3 of 4How to turf a lawn

Step Four:

Use a board to firm the grass and save damaging it or creating depressions. Work loose soil into the joints to help the turves knit together quickly. Water well after laying to stop the turf drying and shrinking.

Step 4 of 4How to turf a lawn

How to: New orchids from old


Moth orchids (Phaelenopsis) vary slightly in their flowering habit. Some produce another batch of flower buds at the tip of the current flowering stem, while others produce side shoots from lower down the stem, especially if you cut the stem back. Occasionally, instead of flower buds, a miniature plant is produced, known as a Keiki (Hawaiian for baby).

The difficulty rating for this garden job is 2 out of 5 and you will need: Secateurs, pot, orchid compost, plastic bag, rubber band.

Step One:

If your plant does not produce more buds at the tip of the flowering shoot, trim it back to just above the top stem bud.

Step 1 of 4How to: New orchids from old

Step Two:

Instead of a flowering shoot, you may get a new plant forming, known as a Keiki.

Step 2 of 4How to: New orchids from old

Step Three:

Once this has grown roots, it can be removed from the parent plant. Take a short section of stem with it, as this helps anchor it into a pot of compost.

Step 3 of 4How to: New orchids from old

Step Four:

Pot it into moist orchid compost and cover with a plastic bag, held in place with a rubber band to keep it humid while it establishes. Within a few weeks, it should begin to grow and can be treated the same as other orchids.

Step 4 of 4How to: New orchids from old

How to: Maintenance Pruning


On ornamental plants (not fruit) there are a few basic reasons why you should prune, best remembered as the 4 Ds: Dead, Dying, Damaged and Diseased. Next, remove crossing or rubbing branches, any that have reverted to green and for shape.

The difficulty rating for this garden job is 2 out of 5 and you will need: Secateurs, pruning saw

Step One:

Dead wood is easiest to see and remove in summer. Cut back to healthy, pale-coloured wood.

Step 1 of 4How to: Maintenance Pruning

Step Two:

Die-back is common after early pruning where a rogue frost can catch you out. Cut back to just above a healthy bud.

Step 2 of 4How to: Maintenance Pruning

Step Three:

Larger dead stems should be removed with a pruning saw, working very carefully so you do not damage nearby shoots.

Step 3 of 4How to: Maintenance Pruning

Step Four:

Green shoots on a variegated plant should be removed, as they contain more chlorophyll and are stronger. If left, they will take over and you will lose the variegation.

Step 4 of 4How to: Maintenance Pruning

How to plant larger plug plants


Plug plants delivered later in spring, when the weather is warmer and the plants slightly larger, can be planted directly into their final container, rather than being grown in small pots first.

The difficulty rating for this garden job is out of 5 and you will need: Plug plants, pot, compost, watering can

Step One:

Larger plug plants can cope with being planted in their final container, ready to provide colour during the summer.

Step 1 of 4How to plant larger plug plants

Step Two:

Use fresh, sterile compost (with added water-retaining gel and controlled-release fertiliser if you wish) and arrange the plants so that they all have enough room to grow.

Step 2 of 4How to plant larger plug plants

Step Three:

Choose a mixture of upright and trailing plants, with a tall plant in the centre to give height to the display.

Step 3 of 4How to plant larger plug plants

Step Four:

Water well to settle the compost around the plants. Keep them under protection while they establish and until all risk of late frost has passed.

Step 4 of 4How to plant larger plug plants

How to make a Herb Planter


You can use old pots to make an attractive herb planter which will provide interest for your garden and food for your kitchen.

The difficulty rating for this garden job is 1 out of 5 and you will need: Pots, Multipurpose Compost, Herbs, Watering Can

Step One:

Line the base of the the largest pot with newspaper to prevent compost washing out and insects crawling in.

Step 1 of 4How to make a Herb Planter

Step Two:

Fill the largest pot with compost and place the next pot within it. Sink the smaller pot so that it is half submerged within the compost.

Step 2 of 4How to make a Herb Planter

Step Three:

Repeat the previous step for the final pot and then fill it with compost. Make sure the posts are stable and level.

Step 3 of 4How to make a Herb Planter

Step Four:

Carefully pull each pot away from the herb plant. Plant them evenly within the container and make sure you leave space for them to grow. Gently water in the plants to settle them and place your new display in a sheltered part of the garden.

Step 4 of 4How to make a Herb Planter

We hope these projects have given you a few ideas and a bit of inspiration for what to do in your garden this month.

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