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June at the Kitchen Garden….

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It’s June!! Finally summer’s here and the time in right, if not for dancing in the streets, then for spending more time in your garden/outside space (though do feel free to do a bit of dancing in the street if the mood takes you!).

Here at the Kitchen Garden things are in full flow! We are now able to invite our lovely customers inside the cafe and at the shop we have such a gorgeous colourful array of flowering perennials and bedding. We ran a very successful hanging basket workshop recently and we are planning a herb trough workshop next – look out for details regarding the date and time!

As for your garden…there’s obviously lots to be getting on with in the veg patch and the ornamental garden – but it’s always a great idea to spend sunny days relaxing and enjoying the fruits of your labours – take time to look around you and enjoy the beauty of the flowers coming into bloom and the activity of the insects and wildlife you have encouraged into your garden. So I’m going to divide this blog up into tasks and tonics….what to be getting on with now and how to relax and enjoy the weather.

Tasks……

  1. Put out all of your tender veggies and half hardy annual seedlings now that the risk of frost has (hopefully) past. Remember to harden them off beforehand by gently acclimatising them during the day and bringing them in at night.
  2. Sow biennials now for flowers next summer – wallflowers and honesty are good ones to try.
  3. Divide any clumps of bluebells as they begin to fade – you can then replant some of them in new areas to spread your bluebell flowers for next spring.
  4. Make sure that you stake plants that are likely to grow tall – for example delphiniums. It’s best to do this before they actually need it.
  5. Keep deadheading to ensure that your plants continue to flower for longer
  6. Keep weeding!
  7. Take softwood cuttings – more plants for free!!
  8. Tie in tomatoes and cucumbers as they grow
  9. Continue successional sowing of salad crops
  10. Start a weekly routine of feeding your veggies and plants – use an organic tomato/seaweed fertiliser diluted according to the manufacturers instructions.

Softwood Cuttings

At this time of year you can take softwood cuttings of new growth of plants such as Osteospermum, Penstemen, Lavender Petunia and Verbena. You can also take cuttings of deciduous shrubs, for example Budleja, Hydrangea and Fuchsia.

Simply collect pieces of the plant you want to propagate early in the day when  the plant is turgid (full of water)- make sure to take non-flowering shoots, as they will root more easily.

Remove up to 10cm of shoot, cutting off the material neatly above a bud on the parent plant using a sharp knife or secateurs. Remove the lower leaves, pinch out the soft tip and maybe wound the base and dip it in hormone rooting powder.

Then put the cutting into a container of compost using a dibber making sure to Insert the base of the cutting with the first pair of leaves just above the level of the compost around the edge of the pot.

Label the pot and water it from above to settle the compost and place it with a plastic bag over it somewhere warm, (however, remember to remove the bag to ventilate the cutting at least twice a week for 10 minutes).Place cuttings in good, but not direct, sunlight and ensure the compost is moist until the cuttings are well-rooted which takes about 6 to 10 weeks

Tonics….

Now the nights are lengthening – it’s great to spend as much time outdoors as possible – which of course includes a gin and tonic or two in the garden in the evening !! To help you to extend this pleasure, we have a range of outdoor lighting, rugs and woodburners to keep you cosy and warm.

Just the thing for those summer outdoor get togethers post lockdown….now where is that gin??????

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