Plan for pots of colour

PUBLISHED: 13:26 25 May 2006 | UPDATED: 14:42 12 May 2010

This week The Crow looks at the jobs to do in the garden during June. THE PATIO OR TERRACE It s time to get all containers planted up as soon as possible, to get the maximum enjoyment from them. Use peat-free or reduced peat multi-purpose or container com

This week The Crow looks at the jobs to do in the garden during June.

THE PATIO OR TERRACE

It's time to get all containers planted up as soon as possible, to get the maximum enjoyment from them.

Use peat-free or reduced peat multi-purpose or container compost. In large pots, put some large stones or half-bricks in the bottom to save on the compost required, since bedding plant roots will not go down far.

Mix water retaining granules and steady release fertislier tablets, such as Osmocote, at the manufacturer's recommended dosages, into the compost before planting.

Use small plants, either reared yourself or bought as "plugs" at a garden centre. Plant the containers reasonably thickly even though most plants will expand in breadth during the summer, as they are, after all, only in the pots for a few months.

Press the compost down gently around the plants making sure the finished level is 2.5cm (1in) below the rim, so compost does not splash out at watering time. Water thoroughly after planting.

THE LAWN

Mow lawns at least once a week as they will be growing strong - and consider investing in a mower that recycles the clippings back into the lawn.

THE GREENHOUSE

Sow the seed of winter pansies and polyanthus in seed compost and put into a cold frame, but do not forget them as they will need watering in dry weather.

THE ROSE GARDEN

Before the roses bloom, spray them with a dedicated rose spray against aphids, mildew and blackspot - the three ills which afflict roses worst. If suckers appear close to the rose stems, pull them away from the root, but do not cut them or more will grow.

THE WATER GARDEN

If blanket weed is becoming a problem, put on your wellies and get in to remove it. Leave the weed for a week or so on the edge of the pond so that any insects caught up can crawl back into the safety of the water.

THE KITCHEN GARDEN

Sow salad vegetable every two weeks to ensure a constant supply all summer. If you are quick there is still time to sow maincrop peas; any later and they will be prone to mildew.

At the start of the month, plant out tender vegetables (runner beans, dwarf beans, pumpkins, tomatoes) started in the greenhouse.

Tomatoes are usually grown on the "cordon" system, that is, the stem is tied to a bamboo cane at least 2m (6ft 6in) long. They can be grown in growing bags, large pots of multi-purpose compost or in the ground.

Keep the stem tied in with soft horticultural string and remove sideshoots forming in the axis of the leaves close to the main stems. Left to itself, a tomato plant will become bushy, which is undesirable. Feed weekly with a dedicated liquid tomato feed, high in potash to help good fruit formation and colour.

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