Thu 22nd Aug 2019Tattenhall Online weather - Moderate rain at timesModerate rain at times 18°C

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Mzzzz b's June Garden Blog

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Mzzzz B's June Garden Blog

I spent some time last month with some helpers digging out a "non-invasive" bamboo which I planted probably over 20 years ago. It has decided that now after all this time it wants to take over the world. The weather last year being wet and cold, at the time when I might have been curtailing its activities, I failed to do this, and its increased in vigour this year. The roots are a metre long and a strong as wire, leaving bits in the ground will result in regrowth. I tried poisoning it last year, and it just shrugged, a fellow gardener told me never to plant bamboo, I wish I had taken that advice! Now I may have to wait until it flowers and dies which could be another 25 years! But we have dug a huge amount out and burnt the roots and I am hoping that this will at least stop it in its tracks and I can dig up the little bits left as they crop up. We will see!

Moral of the tale- be very sure about the plants you buy and never plant a bamboo unless you really do want it to take over the neighbourhood!

Things to do this month- but bear in mind we seem to be experiencing monsoon type weather which may interrupt activities. It should be a busy time :

  • The weather should be warming up, and the risk of frost should have gone, so it is now time to move tender plants out into the garden, give pot plants a little refreshing time in the rain. Beans and courgettes will be happy, and hopefully pumpkins although watch the temperature at night.
  • Sow salad crops little and often, so you can have a succession through the summer.
  • Pinch out side shoots of tomatoes
  • Keep on top of weeds with all the heat and rain we have been having, they will be rampant!
  • Apple and pear trees drop a lot of their excess fruit in June, this is normal. To control this you can selectively take off fruit leaving two fruits that are not touching each other
  • Remove strawberry runners to avoid energy being diverted into making new plants and not berries.
  • You can increase your stock by pegging new runners into pots or directly into gaps.
  • Keep regularly harvesting herbs, pinching out shoot tips to keep plants productive and compact.
  • Dead head roses at least once a week, the best way to do this is with sectors, cut the stalk back to the first leaf before the flower, a new shoot will grow from this and you will encourage more flowering.
  • Spring flowering shrubs such as Amelanchier, Philadelphus, Deutszia, Wiegelia can be cut back quite hard now, take out no more than a third of strong shoots back to the base so that you get renewal of the shrub every 3 years. Prune wisteria cutting back all new growth to keep it in bounds!
  • Remember to garden for wild life: greenfly/aphids are good food for hungry birds feeding heir young, ladybirds and hoverflies also eat them. Where they are too damaging to tolerate squash between your fingers rather than use chemicals.
  • If you have a pond and remove blanket weed and duck weed put it on the side of the pond to drain for a few days and all sorts of creatures will be able to crawl back into the pond. I did this with a friends pond recently and not only were there lots of tadpoles attached to the blanket weed but two newts came out too!l
  • Try and leave some of your lawn unmown until August as all sorts of insects will benefit from this.

Photograph of ? broad bodied darter in my garden, likes to have a pond nearby!