Peter’s Gardening tips for June

The gardening year is in full flow at last after cool June nights with frosts! Roses, Delphiniums, Peony, Catmint and the start of lavender to name a few.

Settled weather conditions perfect for planting bedding plants and more tender vegetables at last!

Cold nights have really held plants back. Here in the south it’s the dryness and the wind which desicate plants. Finally some rain to dampen the dust!

“Evening red and morning grey

 Are the sure signs of a fine day”!

“If the cock goes crowing to bed,

 He’ll certainly rise with a watery head”!


Wild Foxgloves

Jobs to do:
Get out your hoe or swoe to deal with the weeds. Used in dry weather works better than weedkillers. Just push through the soil surface decapitating the weeds and the roots. Allow to dry in the sun. Make sure you have a sharpened edge on the hoe or swoe!

Raise cutting deck if your garden is dry and sharpen the blade if the grass looks like split ends!

Watering and Feeding:
Crucial to getting good flowers, vegetables and fruits. A good soak is better than a sprinkling of water.
Fill pots to the rim and allow to drain. Liquid feed weekly now.
Hanging baskets and tubs can be fed alternate waterings.

Lots to do. Anything that has flowered this spring can be pruned.
Camellias, Rhododendrons, Viburnum, Clematis Montana. Don’t be frightened.

Pests and Diseases:
Plenty of mildew on Laurel hedges, here in the south of England. Caused by lack of rain.
Cut back feed and water, use a fungicide.
Aphids on Apple trees, Broadbeans, Foxgloves, Cherries, Roses etc.
Use SB Plant Invigorator or a garlic spray.
Viburnum tinus looking like lace curtains. Leaves all shredded caused by Viburnum beetle larvae.

Viburnum beetle larvae

Viburnum beetle larvae

Use a pyrethrum based insecticide to control. Spray in the evening and the undersides of the leaves or cut back all the affected growth, burn or dispose of.

Staking and tying:
An important task to prevent plants collapsing, broken stems and smothering other plants.

Shade the green house to stop scorching of plants. Spray with Coolglass.

Thin fruit on Apricots,Peaches,Nectarines, Plums, Apples and Pears.
Less stress on the tree, better quality fruit, less pests and diseases like brown rot, more air circulation too.

Remove faded and dead flowers on a regular basis to ensure a continuous supply of more flowers.

There’s no end of jobs to do this month tending all veg, flowers and fruit but make sure you take time out to visit gardens open near you or on holiday. Many villages have an Open Gardens  Day such as Shere in Surrey on 28th of June 2pm till 6 pm.

The National Garden Scheme is another excellent way to visit gardens and in so doing raising money for charities.

Hampton Court Flower Show celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. A chance to buy plants directly from the nurseries, gleaning valuable cultural information at the same time, breath taking venue with astounding gardens and intoxicating smells from Floral Marquees full of Roses.

Model Vegetable garden at RHS Wisley

Model Vegetable garden at RHS Wisley

I’ll be there on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 30th June to 2nd July with the RHS Wisley Gardening Advice team answering your questions, so feel free to bring in pictures of problem plants, bits of diseased plants in a plastic bag or container. Plants can be identified too. Free advice!

Looking forward to meeting fellow Silversurfers!

Happy Gardening to you all.

Regards Peter Mills



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Peter Mills

I love everything to do with natural history, wildlife, biodiversity and of course horticulture - basically the big outdoors. I grew up with very good teachers namely my parents and my French grandfather who was a superb grower of vegetables. At Hadlow College I studied a three year OND in Horticulture. I had a market stall selling plants. Went onto wholesaling house plants to florists and garden centres across southern England. In 1986 I joined Clandon Park Garden Centre as manager. Whilst there I started my career as a gardening radio presenter with the BBC Southern Counties Radio. This continued for 15 years, building up valuable contacts with the RHS Wisley, live broadcasts from Chelsea & Hampton Court Flower shows, South of England & Surrey County shows etc. Since 1998 I have been self-employed, working as a Head Gardener and in private gardens . Through the RHS Advisory Department at Wisley I advise on horticultural problems in members gardens, including pest & disease problems, lawn-care advice, pruning of wisterias, fruit trees, roses, wildlife gardening, growing fruit & vegetables, creating wildflower meadows, identifying plants and control of pernicious weeds. I am an extremely lucky guy who loves what I do and the trade called Horticulture!

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28th Jun 2015
Thanks for voting!
I am sorry but my original question is no longer listed , the only one is( judyap) mine is nowhere to be seen. I clicked on your link as instructed .
28th Jun 2015
Thanks for voting!
Hi Peter. We have a huge camellia, lovely flowers but only on the top now, and at eye level just very thick branches, would like to cut it to hslf its size. Is it worth a try or should we take it out and replace it? Hope to hear from you!

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