After elaborating last month about my Azalea the poor thing caught the frost early. As it is quite big and I am quite short I was unable to cover it properly and now it looks very sorry for itself.
It is now time for putting your bedding plants in the garden, but make sure you have hardened them off first by gradually exposing them to the elements for a couple of weeks and covering them over night should there be a frost. Make sure they are well watered in and kept moist during dry weather.
Protect lilies, hostas and other susceptible plants from slug and snail damage. Also watch out for vine weevil and scarlet lily beetle, both of which can seriously damage plants.
Many spring flowering shrubs, including early flowering clematis, can be pruned as soon as their flowers have started to fade. Cut back dead foliage from bulbs if not already done so, but wait until the foliage has died down naturally to stop the bulbs from becoming blind next year. Finish planting out gladioli.
Fill gaps in herbaceous borders with annual bedding, delaying any planting of permanent perennials until the autumn or the following spring. Thin out direct sowings of hardy annuals. This is best done in two or three stages at fortnightly intervals.
As soon as cuttings taken earlier in the season have produced a good root system, pot them into a slightly larger pot, using the same compost as they were potted in before, leave a gap at the top of the pot so that it can be watered into.
Remember to cut off the old flower stems of herbaceous plants such as oriental poppies, lupins, certain cranesbills and campanulas to encourage a second flush of flowers. Spray roses every fourteen days against black spot, mildew, rust and aphids. Pick off diseased leaves and destroy them. Pull away brier shoots and suckers and mulch with well-rotted manure or garden compost. Tie climbing roses to a trellis. If you started off your dahlia tubers in pots now is the time to transfer them into the ground. Trim back winter flowering heathers with shears. Do not cut into the woody part just shear the tops off. Divide primroses for replanting.
In the Greenhouse take cuttings of Pelargoniums, Fuchsias and Chrysanthemums.
Feed tomato plants once a week when fruits have formed. Train and feed cucumber plants, removing the male flowers. Keep the greenhouse well ventilated
Train in new blackberry and loganberry shoots. Summer prune gooseberries. Tie in new wall-trained peach and nectarine shoots. Anchor healthy strawberry runners so that they form new plants and protect the strawberries from slugs.
Crops to sow outside in early June include runner beans, dwarf French beans, kohl rabi, carrots, marrows, cauliflowers, peas, ridge cucumbers, sweet corn, swede, lettuce, endive, squashes and spinach.
Regularly mow the lawn to keep it looking good. If you are troubled with moss use a combined fertiliser and mosskiller when feeding it.