Home Gardening Tips for May and June

A round up of what to do in your Food and Flowers Gardens

May has seen some beautiful weather, the Seed Pantry garden has been bathed in sunshine. However, we are now hoping for rain, a good soaking is just what the plants need! In the meantime we hope your plants have being sufficiently watered and fed too.

Over the last few weeks, we have been doing all we can to help in your gardens by bringing you weekly and monthly tips on what to do in your spaces.

Let’s continue! Here’s what you can do this month in your food and flower gardens 🏡

Flowers 🌼

🌅 As we move further into Spring and Summer is right around the corner, we can start planting Tender Summer Bulbs. As the frosts are most likely behind us, it is safe to start planting bulbs that are frost sensitive such as Gladioli, Dahlias and Bessera elegans. These can now be planted straight outdoors into pots, containers or borders.

🌷 Early Spring flowers will now be wilting and you can start deadheading by pruning spent flowers. Take garden shears and cut off the flower head from the lower stem once it’s finished flowering. Regularly deadheading your flowers will help channel the plant’s energy into creating new flowers rather than creating seeds, resulting in healthy plants and continual blooms.

🌺 Now that the sun is shining more, most of the garden is happily soaking up the rays. However, we imagine most people have areas of their growing space that are shadier and thus under used. These spaces can be enhanced by planting shade-loving plants such as Hostas, Astilbe and Digitalis.

🌻 From June we will be sowing seeds for biennials, and perennial plants that will flower next spring like Primula, Lupins and Foxgloves.

Now is also the time you can buy many other summer bulbs for planting, including Dahlia, Gladioli, Gloriosa, Tigridia, Anenome, Ranunculus and more…sign up to the Seed Pantry Grow Club for monthly boxes to choose.

Food 🥗

🍅Your Chillies, Tomatoes, and Sweet Peppers sown earlier in Spring can be potted on now, either into larger pots in greenhouses, indoors or outdoors in sheltered warm south facing positions.

Make sure to check the variety requirements of your plants though as the very hottest Chillies require warm temperatures of 25°plus to successfully grow, so these should be kept indoors or in a greenhouse.

🌽 There is still time to sow in small pots of courgettes, butternut, pumpkins, sweetcorn, french and runner beans and second sowings of peas and beans to give you a continual supply well into Autumn. Sowing direct in final growing positions is possible or start these in 9cm pots to grow seedlings for planting out later.

🥕 With the warm weather, vegetables are ready to grow outdoors. Beets, carrots and peas can now all be sown directly outside in veg patches.

🥔 Potatoes should be developing well and in May it is important to earth up/mulch potatoes in their patches and pots. Earthing up potatoes will help reduce late frost damage, encourage larger crops and also help prevent tubers from turning green. To do this mound up soil around your potato plants so no tubers are exposed.

🌱 Remember to keep up with Successional sowing of salads. If you sow seeds little and often in batches, it is possible to ensure plants are ready to harvest in succession throughout the growing season and most of the year. This can be done for carrots, salads, beans and more.

That is all, for now, folks – stay tuned to our Instagram account and we will have more tips and reminders next week! 😁

Seed Pantry

A Seed Pantry Guide To Growing Hosta Plants

Hosta Plants are in the Grow Club this month. They are one of our most favourite plants to grow and for good reason. Hostas have stunning foliage, great leaf textures, colours and shapes to add interest to any garden spaces in shady areas. Not to mention they are really easy to grow!

Let’s run through what hosta plants are, how you can start growing and caring for them, plus details of the varieties we have this month!

What are Hosta Plants?

Hostas, also called plantain lilies, are shade-tolerant perennials that are extremely hardy and require little maintenance. They originate from East Asia with over 2,500 cultivars produced. These cultivars vary in size, colour and textures making each one a unique growing experience.

Brought to Europe in the 1700s, Hostas are one of the most popular and best-selling perennials in the world today.  Although they are best known for their amazing foliage, they also bloom in the summer with tall spikes and, most often, purple flowers.

How to grow and care for your Seed Pantry Hosta Plants?

Here is our quick guide on how to plant and care for your own Hosta plants!

1. Our Hostas come as bare-root plants, so you can start planting them straight away, directly in borders or containers.  As they do not need as much sunlight as most plants, you can position them in shadier parts of your growing space such as under trees or by fences. This gives you the opportunity to fill darker areas of the garden that may have been left a little bare until now!

2. Plant the roots 5-10cm deep and 50cm apart for the bigger varieties like ‘El Nino’ and to 1.5m apart for giants like ‘Sum and Substance’, and plant with 30cm of spacing for the smaller types like ‘Blue Mouse Ears’. Place the roots downwards with the growing points, or eyes facing up.

3. Cover the plants with compost, add a splash of water and wait for the magic to happen! Hostas like fertile, moisture-retentive soil for the best growing conditions.

4. As the plant grows, keep the soil moist and when we move into the Summer and hot weather, make sure to water daily while they are establishing. Slugs and snails may try to eat your hosta plants. One way you can help with this would be to add a companion plant like Astilbe or plants slugs don’t go for. Astilbe is also in the Grow Club this month! Container growing can help fend off slugs too.

Feeding your plants: Mulch borders annually on fertile soil, for poor soil add general fertiliser and mulch in spring,. For containers add weekly balanced liquid feed while growing/establishing for great foliage.

Hostas are hardy perennial plants that die back in winter and will come back each year in spring, so simply leave them to do their thing!

What Hosta Plants do we have in this month’s Grow Club?

Each plant below has been given the RHS’s – Award of Garden Merit (AGM).

Hosta ‘El Nino’ (PBR) (AGM)

These hostas have large variegated leaves that grow to 17cm long. The leaves have clump-forming, blue-green centres with pure white to grey-green-streaked margins! Their flowers are spikes of pale purple bell-shaped, darker striped flowers which are stunning! H. 50cm/80cm wide.

Hosta ‘Fire and Ice’ (AGM)

A favourite from last year, these have striking, variegated, wavy edge foliage with light green with creamy white centres. These grow to be compact and mound-forming with elegant pale lavender flowers. H. 60cm/60cm wide.

Hosta ‘Sum and Substance’ (AGM)

Here are the biggies! Big heart-shaped leaves that grow to 50cm long! These are large mound-forming plants with beautiful light green on nicely veined leaves. Sweet dense pale lilac, bell-shaped flowers on stems grow on these too. H. 90cm/1.5m wide.

Hosta ‘Earth Angel’ (PBR) (AGM)

Another big one! These have outstanding blue-green foliage with creamy white margins. From here they form a thick mound of large heart-shaped leaves. They also grow dense racemes of pale lilac, bell-shaped flowers. H. 75cm/1m wide.

Hosta ‘Krossa Regal’ (AGM)

Another stunning hosta plant with ovate, grey-blue to green leaves that grow to 20cm long. It has superb veining, forming a large upright clump. Once again these have bell-shaped pale purple flowers on stems to 1.5m. H. 90cm/150cm wide.

Hosta ‘Blue Mouse Ears’ (AGM)

These are just the cutest mini Hosta, can be easily grown in pots and border edges. Smooth blue-green leaves, with adorable mouse ear-shaped! They grow beautiful pale purple bell-shaped flowers on spikes too! H. 30cm/30cm wide.

We have all of these and other amazing plants in the Seed Pantry Grow Club this month, so come and check them out to pick your favourites! 😁

Seed Pantry Team