Trees, Shrubs and Roses
- Blackspot disease of roses can be very damaging, especially in the damper parts of the country and after wet weather.
- Prune spring shrubs as they go out of flower, such as forsythia, flowering currant, kerria and spring spirea, but only if necessary, if the plants are getting too big for the position in which they are growing, or if they are becoming mis-shapen.
- The pruning should remove the older shoots of shrubs and allow new wood to take their place.
- Water young trees and hedging if there is a dry spell.
- Dahlias and corms of gladiolus can be planted out where they are to flower.
- Containers and baskets of summer bedding flowers, such as petunias and verbenas, can be planted up now.
- With increasing temperatures, slugs and snails can very quickly cause severe damage to susceptible plants like hostas and ligularias.
- Dahlias can be attacked by slugs as they come through the soil and sometimes this is difficult to spot.
- Bedding plants should be grown on strongly to get good size, spacing the plants well to give them room to grow before planting out.
- There is still time to sow hardy annual flowers for a spot of colour later on.
- As the weather warms during this period and daylight is more intense, lawns respond with strong growth and regular mowing is necessary.
- If a lawn is growing well, it will not need feeding for a while but as soon as its growth slows or the colour begins to fade, it should get some lawn fertilizer or high-nitrogen fertilizer.
- Take care of the edging now around the margins of flower beds or borders, or where a lawn meets a driveway or wall, before the grass gets long.
Fruit, Vegetables and Herbs
- Apple and pear trees often get apple or pear scab disease and check for greenflies in large numbers.
- Sowing of vegetables can continue if the ground is dry enough, especially french beans, summer turnips, carrots, peas and salad crops.
- Repeat sowings of those sown early, such as lettuce. radish?and peas, can be made.
- Thin out vegetable seedlings that have reached suitable size.
- Sow cabbage and cauliflower for autumn and winter.
- Sweet corn and runner beans can be sown directly outdoors but, with outdoor sowing of these tender crops, a lot depends on the summer weather for success.
Greenhouse and House Plants
- Begonias can be potted up for greenhouse and indoor decoration later.
- All house plants and greenhouse plants should be grown on strongly now to get good growth before mid-summer.
- Grape powdery mildew has already appeared from last year’s buds and it is necessary to spray a grapevine with a rose spray now if it had the disease last year.
- Houseplants can be re-potted now.
- Plant melon and cucumber plants in the greenhouse if not already done, also greenhouse tomato plants, raised or purchased, chillies, aubergines and sweet peppers.