IT'S THE WEEKEND: Grow It - June gardening tips from National Garden Gift Vouchers

First published in News

JUNE is a lovely month to be in the garden. With the evenings getting longer and brighter and the longest day of the year on June 21, the extra light and warmth encourages the garden to put on a burst of growth.

And that includes the lawn, so if you feel like give Dad a day off from mowing to celebrate Father’s Day (June 15) then here are a couple of mowing do’s and don’ts: mow once a week in the summer, don’t mow when grass is wet or during a drought, and raise the mower blades when mowing in very hot weather.

Other plants that are growing upwards and outwards this month are roses. They are a great addition to any garden environment, large or small, contemporary or traditional with varieties for planting in flower beds, borders and planters.

Blue Peter gardener, Chris Collins thinks no garden is complete without a rose or two.

“I suppose the choice of a rose as my favourite may be considered an obvious one when gardeners talk about plants - but the English garden is incomplete without one or possibly many," he said.

“When I started my apprenticeship with the parks, the hours spent in the rose garden is where I first connected with plants in a professional capacity.

"However, my real love of them came much later when I began to import David Austin Roses into Japan whilst working there. These plants really just give and give and with the minimum fuss."

There is a rose for every garden situation from Hybrid Teas to miniatures, climbers to floribundas. Roses can be used for all aspects of the garden, from cladding walls and pergolas to providing informal barriers and rambling roses can be used to cover old stumps and unsightly fences or walls.

If you want to find out the best rose for your own garden requirements then go to www.roselocator.co.uk, a searchable database of roses and stockists.

Roses can also be grown in pots - so ask your local garden centre or nursery about the best variety to get and they can give you planting advice and tips on caring for container roses as part of the nationwide "It Starts with a Pot" campaign running through the summer to encourage everyone to give gardening a go.

It’s a busy time in the garden with many tasks to occupy any gardener – so here’s a list of the top jobs for this month from the Royal Horticultural Society and National Garden Gift Vouchers:

1. Hoe borders regularly to keep down weeds

2. Be water-wise, especially in drought-affected areas

3. Pinch out sideshoots on tomatoes

4. Harvest lettuce, radish, other salads and early potatoes

5. Position summer hanging baskets and containers outside

6. Cut lawns at least once a week

7. Plant out summer bedding

8. Stake tall or floppy plants

9. Prune many spring-flowering shrubs

10. Shade greenhouses to keep them cool and prevent scorch

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