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Gardener's Diary

June 2011

An introduction from Rosemary Martin...

Previously in The Gardener's Diary...

May 2011

April 2011

March 2011


The Gardener's Diary

RosemaryI have been gardening now as a hobby for about forty years, but have no formal training.. I don't have a favourite style of gardening, traditional is nice, but I also think the modern trends work well. 

This column adds a new dimension to my interest in all aspects of horticulture and will hopefully help others find pleasure in this healthy and therapeutic pastime ... 

Please e-mail me with your garden problems, comments, or ideas for this section of laterlife, remembering to tell me which country you are from.. 

Click here for previous editions of Gardener's Diary..


Oscar, the Dark DestroyerJune, and it is almost halfway through the year already.

Just as we have got our garden into some semblance of order after the winter, and things are starting to grow nicely, I decided to set on an under gardener called Oscar, whose speciality is digging and weeding.

He isn't yet able to tell the difference between weeds and flowers though, see photo to the right, but hopefully he will soon learn the ropes..

 

 


Jobs for the month

June 2011

 

Fruit and vegetable gardening for June click here

 House plants

House plants should be fed every two weeks or so from April until September. If you have some large houseplants, they will benefit from being taken outside on a rainy day, or a warm day and sprayed using the hosepipe on a fine mist. It will clean the dust off the leaves and invigorate the plants.. The Red Spider mite that suddenly appeared on some of my plants has now been eradicated by putting them outside and spraying them with Bug clear gun, but I'll be watchful that it, or something else doesn't appear..

Lawns

chafer beetleNow that the rain has arrived there is still time to Weed & Feed your lawn. It should be applied three days after and three days before cutting the lawn. If the grass is too wet to use a spreader for the job, just broadcast it by hand.. Don't put the first three mowings on your compost heap as they will be full of chemicals from the lawn. And take care to keep your pets off the lawn until it has been watered in. The garden chafer trap we bought seems to be catching plenty of the bugs this year.


Bedding Plants

Now that you've planted out the summer bedding plants give them plenty of water during dry spells until they're well established.. If the ground is very dry you will need to continue watering the plants until it can be seen that they are growing away on their own. Some bedding plants will need more water than others so check instructions. It is usually pretty obvious however, if a plant is not happy..

Hanging baskets and tubs

I often find that as soon as I put out my hanging baskets there are strong winds that can batter them to bits within minutes, but it is worth just taking them down and putting them in a sheltered place until the winds die down. The plants will soon grow stronger and be able to withstand a battering.

Lilies

lily beetleIf you have lilies growing in your borders that appear to have their leaves eaten away, look out for red lily beetles and zap them with Provado ultimate bug killer, or squash them.. Fail to eradicate the beetles and your lilies will get too weak to survive after a couple of years.. I have taken to growing lilies in tubs and lifting them after flowering, to avoid this problem.


Ponds and Water gardens

Remove any blanket weed, using a stick or fork and taking care not to damage any wildlife. Add tender water plants to your pond and add new varieties of hardy plants to your existing stock. Feed the fish more frequently this month. Keep water levels topped up in hot weather. June is a good month for visiting your aquarist for new fish to add more interest. They will have four months to grow and get acclimatised to your pond.. Watch out for the beautiful dragonflies near your pond.

Wildlife

Bumblebees need a constant source of suitable plants throughout Spring, Summer and Autumn, and many gardeners believe that all flowers benefit bees. But lots of hybrids are sterile and lack the pollen and nectar on which the insects feed. Plant the flowers that give them a buzz by turning your borders into horticultural havens for bees. They are particularly attracted to white, blue, purple and yellow flowers because they see ultraviolet colours and make a beeline straight for them!  Rosemary, Thyme, Lavender, Bluebells, Cornflowers, Honeysuckle, Rhododendron, Geraniums, Delphiniums, Foxgloves and Daisies are some of their favourites....   

Happy gardening till next month....

sneezing sunflower

 


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