June sees the tender plants that have been hardening off outside go into their permanent flowering spots for the summer. Many will be put into large plant pots, hanging baskets and window boxes where they will provide colour for months. Lobelia and impatiens are good choices for a shady place where they will enjoy the cool conditions. Pelargoniums and petunias prefer the sun and can cope with dry soil for a short time. However a hot day can see containers dry out quickly so it may be necessary to water both in the morning and evening should we get a sunny summer.
Whilst these plants are long lasting and give attractive displays it is also a good idea to mix in a few different things to attract bees, hoverflies and butterflies. These beneficial insects are having a hard time finding enough food and gardeners can do a lot to encourage them by planting simple, open flowers like members of the daisy family for example. It is amazing how quickly the insects will appear when these blooms open.
Summer containers are a great addition to the garden but they do require a little extra care if they are to look good for the whole of the summer. It is a good idea to mix a slow release fertiliser in with the planting compost before putting in the plants. This will release the food the plants need for much of the summer avoiding having to remember to add feed when watering. The other important thing to remember is watering the containers. At the height of the summer they will need to be attended to every day even if it rains. Evening watering is usually recommended but as long as it is done the plants won’t really mind what time of day. Avoid getting water on the leaves if the sun is out as they might scorch.
Find out more gardening tips in last month’s blog, a time to start hardening off tender plants.