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June at the Kitchen Garden Shop…

Well…I can’t believe it’s June already. June means a lot of things – your garden is starting to overflow with loveliness (hopefully), the sun will shine for longer and more often (hopefully) and you start to look forward to a long lovely summer….

At least that would be the idea if things were ‘normal’ but in these days of the ‘new normal’ we have had to adapt our plans somewhat. So June now means a partial easing of the lockdown measures – Yay! which means that the shop is now open – Yay!

We are of course abiding by strict social distancing rules and we are therefore limiting the amount of customers we allow in at any one time. However, once in – you have unlimited time to roam around our outdoor area and browse amongst our gorgeous indoor and outdoor plants and garden equipment. The feedback we’ve had so far has been so great – thanks to all our lovely customers!

Hemerocallis – the Day Lilly – each lovely flower lives for just one day…but don’t worry another lovely flower is produced as one dies all throughout June and July

June is also the time that those lovely summer flowering perennials start to look their best. For example the bright trumpets of Hemerocallis above will reward you with flowers for 6-8 weeks. Other beauties at this time of year include Astrantia, Papaver (the poppy) and bearded Iris – so if you haven’t got some already, your newly tidy lockdown garden would really start to sing with their addition. As usual – dig a hole deep enough to take the plant – you can use the pot as a guide to how deep you need to go. Sprinkle some slow release fertiliser into the hole and puddle it with water. Carefully take the plant out the pot and if the roots are ‘pot bound’ (all circled around the plant) gently tease them out, so as to give them a head start when they get into the ground and start looking for water and nutrients. Place the plant into the hole and backfill with compost before heeling it in to ensure that there are no air gaps. To be on the safe side, make sure that you give newly planted lovelies extra water, especially during dry periods and to maximise flower-power, feed with organic seaweed about once a week.

June is also a good time to plant up your summer hanging baskets or, if you don’t do baskets – then overfill large pots with lovely drippy annuals which will spill over the edge and look gorgeous all summer. Make sure that you mix your compost with horticultural grit to ensure good drainage and a good tip is to add water retaining crystals – as plants in baskets and pots will be relying on you for their water and will quickly wilt if you forget! Good annuals to try are trailing pelargonium, petunia, bacopa, lobelia, diacia and my favourite, verbena. Use some evergreen trailing plants around the edges such as ivy or a silvery helichrysum to add that extra wow factor.

Things are also starting to look great in the veg garden at this time of year too. The extra rain we’ve been having has been good for those little seedlings which were put out at the end of May and they are now starting to gain strength and grow, grow, grow. Watch out for those pesky slugs though, as they love the damp conditions and young leafy veggies are their absolute favourite treat! Try not to use chemicals to banish them – there are lots of more organic ways to deal with them. Why not try wool pellets, copper tape or even organic gel. we sell a wide variety of slug repellants in the shop and can give advice on what the best thing would be for your garden.

Don’t stop sowing seeds just because summer is here. You can sow successional lettuces and salad leaves all summer and now is a good time to put in your swede and parnsnip seeds for a lovely autumn crop. If you have sown cucumber or pumpkin seeds, now is the time to prick them out and pot them into bigger containers. They can then grow a little bigger and stronger before you put them out. Remember, when pricking out to only handle the seedling by the leaves and to use potting on compost as this will provide the nutrients your plant needs.

What ever you choose to do in your garden in June – have fun and remember we are now open for all your flower, fruit and veggie needs!

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