From Michael Coulter
June has been a very frustrating month in the garden with little sun and plenty of rain and drizzle. Because of these conditions I have done little in the outside garden but have spent time in the greenhouses doing maintenance and sorting out plants that are past their best.
This weather pattern looks as though it may continue for some time so we will have to wait until we get some good sunny days for that outside work. There is no need to worry as there is still plenty of Winter to come to get those outside tasks completed.
The lawns are very wet so it is better to keep off them as much as possible so that they do not get compacted and muddy. The vegetable gardens are also wet and the soil could get very hard and compacted if you attempt to dig it, also when harvesting in the wet ground place a wide plank on the soil and walk on it so that the soil is protected.
We usually plant garlic and shallots at this time but I would delay this until the ground is more workable. This weather is more milder at night and day temperatures are low but there have not been many frosts so far so weeds are still growing which makes it a messy task to weed. Again, wait until it is drier and sunny before attempting to weed and keep off the wet ground. July is the start of pruning and spraying time, wait for those fine sunny days as this helps to stop the spread of disease, especially on stone fruit.
For those who have a greenhouse and heat pads for bottom heat, early seeds may be started towards the end of the month but do not be in too much of a hurry as little can be gained until the days become noticeably longer to promote good growth.
Take time to do some garden planning, seed sorting and enjoy a browse through the latest plant and seed catalogues to read and order your requirements. Keep warm and dry watch out for wet slippery paths!
Good Gardening, Michael Coulter
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