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I think this has got to be one of my favourite times of year, apart from spring, when you start to see everything coming to life again after a very dull few months. It’s wonderful to wake up in the morning to blue skies and birds singing.
I feel like June just seems to creep up on us, after having some late frosts and really quite cold weather in May, and now such a change.
We spent last month celebrating the coronation - this month we have the RHS Chelsea Flower Show!
I’m very proud to say that we were lucky enough to receive a gold this year for our garden. I have always loved Chelsea, even the most experienced of gardeners will tell you that they get so much from what they see. The inspiration that we can take away!
! I love that we can take away ideas that we can make work in our own gardens. The new varieties of plants, ideas with style and colour combinations, design, features, and hard landscaping. Every year I see people trundling away tall flowers in pots to travel back home with. I often wonder if they make it back in one piece. Very tempting to buy plants at Chelsea because there are so many wonderful things there.
Children can start to really enjoy being outside in the garden now the weather is nice. Even if they want to spend most of their time playing we can get them involved and have fun.
It’s always about learning which is a good feeling. My youngest daughter came home from school yesterday, extremely excited that a butterfly had landed on her arm and stayed with her for ages. I told her about a couple of times when I have unwrapped a cobweb from butterflies legs and saved them. One of them stayed on my finger afterwards, it was quite lovely.
Watching the bees choosing their flowers, turning over a rock and finding insects underneath, finding a money spider on you and watching it before putting it safely somewhere.
Sowing some wildflower seed to encourage pollinators into the garden. These are all really special things we can do with our children. The things that they will always remember when they are grown up.
With the stresses of modern-day life, just to take some time out to spend outdoors doing simple things, it is so good for us.
We can sow salad leaves every couple of weeks indoors on a sunny windowsill. Chilli peppers do well on a sunny windowsill too. Just remember to put canes in when needed to support them and give them feed.
It is quite a steady month in the garden. You may want to trim back spring flowering shrubs. Taking care of how much to reduce them to ensure they flower next year.
Weeding is something that is constant. We need to keep on top of so that it doesn’t become a huge job.
Remember that they can take over in the spaces where we have other things growing and they can also encourage pests.
Keeping on-top down at the allotment is a bigger job. At least there is space to hoe between things. I just let the Sun dry them out and then clear them away afterwards.
Watering is also another thing to keep on top of. If you’ve got new shrubs that are establishing, be sure to make sure they are well watered. A good soaking once a week is better than just doing a little bit each day, but you may have to increase watering if the weather gets very hot.
The time that watering is done makes a difference and it will usually fit in better with busy schedules. Watering early morning and then on an evening, once the sun has gone down are the best times. This allows the water to absorb more slowly and not just evaporate.
Watering the tomatoes
Make sure that tomatoes are well watered and not allowed to dry out.
Our greenhouse tomatoes are always done twice a day when the weather is hot. Be sure to ventilate your greenhouse if you have one.
Good airflow is very important for the health of the plants. If need be you can add shading to the greenhouse to stop the leaves getting scorched.
When my family had a nursery and market Garden. My dad and grandad used to make up a water and flour mixture to put on the glass for shading.
Whether you have a garden of your own, patio, balcony or just room by your front door, there is always something that is possible to make the most of the space you have.
Hanging baskets are a great idea for growing tumbling tomatoes or strawberries. Plus this way you will keep off the slugs and other nibblers!
The same with window boxes and containers. If you have a sunny position, there are many choices. Bush tomatoes, small varieties of peppers, salad and even edible flowers.
Potatoes can be grown in a big container like an old bin. One of the best things is that if you only have room to grow a small amount, you can grow something. The satisfaction from being able to eat something that you have grown yourself! Everyone can do it.
Next month I will be talking about looking after tomato plants, jobs for July and what can be planted.