June gardening Tips

Bearded iris

Talk about blowing hot and cold, wet and dry! This Spring has been so changeable, that it has made planning crops or splitting clumps of perennials very difficult to do successfully.  The late frost caught my beans and potatoes, to my dismay.

In spite of last Summer’s drought, rhododendrons and azaleas have performed well in my garden.

There are still jobs that must be done in hope of kind weather continuing… here are some suggestions:

Ornamental garden

  • Gently remove spent flowers from Camellia, and rhododendrons to make room for the leaf buds emerging behind. You can also trim back overgrown shoots to make the shrubs more compact, next year’s flower buds will form on the new growth of side shoots that this stimulates.
  • Divide bearded irises after flowering; plant with the rhizomes facing south.
  • Sow biennials like sweet William, viola and wallflowers
  • Divide spring-flowering bulbs.
  • Remove spent flower heads of Euphorbia by cutting flowered stems to ground level. Wear gloves for this, the sap causes skin irritation.

Euphorbias give brilliant colour and texture from February



  • Mow regularly but, if it is hot and dry, raise the cutting height.
  • Apply a high-nitrogen lawn feed (again not when dry)
  • Add clippings to the compost heap in small amounts; mix them with dry material to stop it all going slimy.

Kitchen garden

  • Pinch out side shoots of cordon tomatoes
  • Plant out pumpkins, squashes, courgettes and beans. You could direct sow both these and sweetcorn.
  • Because sweetcorn is wind pollinated, do not plant them in a row but in a block, so the pollen gets to the stigmas of neighbouring plants.
  • Harvest early potatoes when they begin flowering
  • Sow autumn carrots.
  • Net Strawberries and brassicas against birds.
  • Sorry! But stop cutting asparagus and feed it so the crowns are ready for next year
  • It looks as if apples and pears have set well in my garden. If yours have too, wait until after the June drop to thin fruit out! (bitter experience on my part here)


  • Damp down the greenhouse floor to increase humidity and discourage red spider mite
  • Feed tomatoes with a high-potassium fertiliser

Open gardens

Although most gardens will not open until July, at the earliest, there are many virtual tours accessible through NGS and RHS websites.

Trading shed

Use the up to date (June 2020) price list to order gardening sundries from Alec and he will arrange for collection.  Sadly, plant sales are not possible to put on safely yet, but Helen Baker at charity plants has a list for sale in aid of Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice.