June brings us the longest day, which falls on 20th of the month this year. It’s doubtful though that it will bring quite as much sunshine as May did! That very warm and dry month forced many gardeners to focus their attentions on water, so this issue will include water-wise gardening tips.
Collecting rainwater that would normally run into your drains is cheaper than paying for water from the mains. It’s also better for plants as it contains valuable nitrogen and other nutrients but not traces of water purification chemicals which can be harmful to (particularly young) plants. Visit www.getcomposting.com for great value water butts available to residents of East Sussex prices start at £24.98 or check out your local garden centre.
Different materials can be spread over the soil around plants to reduce evaporation – including grass cuttings, wood chips and even stones or pebbles. Some plants thrive in the heat but don’t like their roots to get too hot eg chillies and sweet peppers. If you have foil takeaway containers waiting to be recycled, try flattening them and placing them over the soil surface. This will reflect heat as well as reducing evaporation. Once your plants have finished with them you can still recycle them.
Choose early morning or later evening to water thirsty plants to avoid moisture being quickly dried up by the sun, giving it a chance to reach down to the roots of plants where it’s needed. It’s better to give a thorough soaking less frequently than a little splash more often.
Look after the little ones
Established plants can be quite resilient to drought, it’s the younger ones with less established root systems that are more vulnerable, so if you’re rationing water, prioritise the youngest!
An additional bonus of keeping on top of the weeding means you will only be watering the plants you need to, not those cheeky weeds.
Nature is busy reproducing at this time so take care not to disturb nesting birds or mammals. Baby hedgehogs (hoglets) are born during June and July so be extra cautious around the base of hedges or other potential nesting grounds. Having hedgehogs around is excellent organic slug control!
Enjoy the view
Take some time to enjoy the plants, creatures, colours, smells, textures and shapes in your garden at this lovely time of year. There are always more jobs to do, but don’t forget to sit back and enjoy your space; maybe with a cup or tea or glass of elderflower fizz you recently made!
Want the garden waste collection service?
Wealden’s Garden Waste Service enables residents to subscribe to have up to two garden waste bins emptied on a fortnightly basis. The new subscription year starts on 1 July and this year runs for 13 months until the end of July 2021. If you currently have the service and want it to continue, but haven’t renewed yet, please visit www.wealden.gov.uk/gardenwaste as soon as possible. If you have already subscribed for next year but want an extra bin call us on 01323 443322. Happy gardening!