Gardening expert names five vital jobs to do this June to keep gardens healthy

A wild garden that can be used by customers of Bumbles Tea Shoppe & Bakery in Epperstone
-Credit: (Image: Joseph Raynor/ Nottingham Post)

June is the perfect month for garden enthusiasts to revel in their outdoor spaces, with long days and warmer weather finally upon us. However, this also means a list of gardening tasks, both big and small, that need attention.

If you find yourself daunted by the myriad of chores your garden demands, fear not, as expert advice is at hand. Gardening aficionado and Hedges Direct's managing director Jamie Shipley has divulged his top tips for June gardening tasks.

These include guidance on pruning, lawn care, and keeping an eye out for pests. "June marks the start of summer in the northern hemisphere and this is when your garden will really come into its own," Jamie explained.

"Plant growth in June is vigorous so watering, weeding and controlling pests should be your primary concerns. Maintaining your garden now can help you to avoid pitfalls later in the year and keep your space healthy and thriving. Here are my recommend jobs to get done in the garden this month: Pruning.

"Pruning early spring flowering shrubs - including weigela, deutzias and rhododendrons - once they've flowered can help them to maintain a good shape and produce more flowers next year. If you leave this pruning too late the new growth might not have enough time to establish before next year, reports Birmingham Live.

Clipping evergreen hedges in June can also help them maintain dense foliage and good structure. ""June is in the middle of bird nesting season, so you must take care when pruning hedges, shrubs and trees.

Make sure you check for nesting birds before pruning and if you see any signs of birds nesting, leave them well alone. "Offering tips on deadheading to encourage flowering, they added, "Most flowering plants will produce more flowers if they are regularly deadheaded.

This is because once plants start to set new seeds, they concentrate their energy on growing them instead of creating more flowers. Deadheading your roses throughout spring and summer will help to keep blooms going and support healthy growth.

"On the theme of watering, advice issued said, "Watering can become one of the most time-consuming jobs in June but you can save water and time by watering less often but more deeply, which can also help encourage deep-root growth in your plants. It's especially important to give regular deep watering to newly planted trees and shrubs as they will need plenty of water in their first year to establish.

"The guidance also suggested it's a good channel to keep rainwater collection and storage in your garden, stating, "It's a good idea to have rainwater collection and storage in your garden to save the cost of watering, be more environmentally friendly and safeguard against a potential hosepipe ban. Watering in the morning, before the day starts to heat up, will also ensure that your plants have water when needed and reduce water loss through evaporation from the soil surface but if you see a plant beginning to wilt, water at any time of the day as soon as possible.

"Look after your lawn - "Mow your lawn once or twice a week through the summer whilst growth is vigorous to ensure thick and healthy coverage. Do not over-cut, particularly when the weather is dry, as this may cause damage or disease.

Maintaining sharp mower blades will also help to reduce damage to your grass from mowing. ""Bear in mind that your lawn may need extra water during the summer months and If you have fresh turf, you must water regularly to ensure it gets established.

If you have furniture on your grass, regularly rotate it to a different spot to reduce damage and allow the grass underneath to recover. "Keep on top of weeds - "Weeds will grow quickly during the summer so it's important to stay on top of weeding to prevent them from setting seeds for later in the season and next year.

Persistent, perennial weeds such as bindweed, ground elder and mare's tail should be pulled or hoed regularly. This will prevent them from being able to photosynthesise and gradually knock them back until they no longer return.

Using a bark mulch will also help to suppress weeds and retain water in your garden beds. "In my opinion, it's better to opt for an eco-friendly method of weed removal rather than resorting to chemicals that could harm your soil's biodiversity. However, when dealing with deep-rooted and persistent weeds, a weed killer may be necessary. Instead of chemical weed killers, consider using lemon, vinegar or rock salt. These natural herbicides can dehydrate and kill weeds, but they are "non-targeted", meaning they can harm all plants, not just weeds.

They can also prevent any plants from growing in the treated area for a long time, so be careful to keep them away from other flower beds in your garden. I would suggest using these methods only in paved areas to protect your other plants.

On the topic of pest control, Hellebore Leaf Spot is a common fungal infection that affects hellebore plants, causing brown dead patches on leaves, stems and flowers. To prevent this, maintain good weed control and ensure there is adequate airflow around your hellebores.

If you notice affected areas, remove them immediately to prevent the spread of the fungus. Always dispose of affected materials away from the plant to prevent the spread of fungal spores.

Slugs and Snails - June can be a challenging month for gardeners due to the increased activity of slugs and snails, especially after rainfall. These pests find refuge in old leaves touching the ground, dead plant matter on the soil's surface, and unkempt lawns.

While regular applications of nematodes can help control them, it is an expensive solution. Slug pellets should be avoided as they pose a threat to hedgehogs and birds.

A cost-effective alternative is beer traps buried in your garden beds, but these require frequent maintenance. Interestingly, slugs and snails have a homing instinct that works over roughly 20 metres.

So, on a rainy day, collect them in the evening and relocate them more than 20m away.

Box Blight - This fungal infection causes significant portions of your box plant to die off. Proper maintenance during the summer can reduce the likelihood of an outbreak in autumn.

To improve ventilation throughout the plants, trim your box plants less frequently to prevent dense foliage. Keeping your plant's foliage dry can also help mitigate the risk of blight.

Water at the base of the plant rather than overhead. Applying a bark or compost mulch can also help reduce rain splash, keeping your plants drier.

If any plants are infected, remove and isolate them immediately to prevent the spread of blight to other plants. It's also advisable to quarantine newly purchased box plants for around four weeks before introducing them to the garden to ensure there are no signs of blight.