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Once again-thank you Irene!
From Learn 2 Grow
Gardening Tips for June
Holly adds-this assumes we have had sun!
Northwest and Northern California Gardens
- Always use caution when gardening in the heat to help prevent heat-related illness! Temperatures continue to rise, turning what was once warm weather into hot and stifling conditions. Only work in the garden during the cooler morning hours; wear a hat and lightweight, loose-fitting, light-colored clothing; apply (and reapply) sunscreen; and keep that water bottle filled and handy!
- Prune spring-flowering shrubs like rhododendrons, lilacs and azaleas soon after flowering. These garden favorites will set next year’s flowers this summer. If you wait too long to prune, you’ll deny your garden their remarkable blooms in 2012.
- It’s time to plant those heat-loving annuals!
- Gazanias are bright and cheerful low-growers that come in an array of colors.
- Marigolds color up planting beds and containers – and even serve as a natural insect repellent in the edible garden.
- Mexican heather has fine-textured foliage and light purple, pink or white flowers.
- Pentas provide long-blooming interest and attract butterflies.
- Portulaca features cupped, rose-like flowers that grow well in containers and sunny borders.
- Vinca, or Madagascar periwinkle, is a tough and durable plant that grows easily in sunny gardens and planters.
- Plant sunflowers with the kids. These easy-to-grow, sun-loving beauties create a wonderful learning experience for children. Plus, the birds will thank you for a delicious snack later this fall.
- Stake or cage tall tomato varieties soon after planting (especially those with large fruits like Big Boy, Beefsteak, Big Beef and Whopper).
- Apply organic mulch to plantings. (A 2-inch layer is all you need.) Mulch stabilizes soil temperatures, conserves needed soil moisture and helps suppress weeds.
- Plant ivy geraniums in planters, window boxes and hanging baskets. These “spillers” add punch to containers with their beautiful colors, attractive leaves and trailing habits. Remember to deadhead spent flowers to keep plants in continual “bloom mode.”
- Plant vegetables that crave warm temperatures. Tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, squash and okra (and more) are all worthy additions to the home garden.
- Grow vegetables in containers if you don’t have the garden space for an inground veggie garden.
- Pinch back hardy mums in the garden every two weeks through early July. Remove one-third of the new growth each time to promote bushier plants.
- Cut back catmint (Nepeta) to encourage another round of blooms.
- Keep up with any weeds in the veggie patch – they’ll rob your plants of soil moisture and nutrients!
- Grow summer squash: Plant the seeds about 1 inch deep and water well. Cover the area with a floating fabric to protect sprouting plants from various insects. When the plants start blooming (in about a month), uncover them to allow pollinators to fertilize the flowers.
- Keep the inside of your home blooming, too! Grow cutflowers like dahlias, sunflowers, zinnias and cosmos in your garden, then fill your empty vases (and boost anyone’s spirits) with gorgeous, fresh, homegrown bouquets throughout summer.
- Care for hanging baskets on a regular basis to keep them looking their best. Make it part of your daily routine to check your hanging plants for needed soil moisture. Liquid-feed them according to label directions, and remove spent flowers to encourage more blooms.
- Do a little perennial pruning to encourage more flowers. Deadhead any that have finished flowering and adjust ties on taller plants.
- Plant dahlias. These beautiful bloomers are ideal for cutting gardens. You’ll enjoy their blooms inside and outside the home later this summer. (Remember to stake taller varieties at the time of planting.
- Leave some spears on your asparagus plants – don’t harvest them all! The plumy tops of asparagus plants supply the nutrients needed to produce an abundant crop of spears the following spring.
- Keep all the foliage from your spring-flowering bulbs until the leaves have yellowed and ripened. Once they have, remove the leaves and add them to your homemade compost pile. Before you forget where your bulbs popped up this season, keep a garden journal and note where all existing bulbs remain to avoid disturbing your established bulbs when you add more plants to the garden.
- Fertilize roses according to package directions, deadhead any spent flowers, and water as needed (preferably with a soaker hose to keep foliage dry).
- Keep up the good work with the lawn! Mow as needed, taking off only one-third of the grass blades. Recycle grass clippings back onto the lawn. (Don’t worry – it won’t create thatch!) If rainfalls are adequate, you shouldn’t need to irrigate. If you do need to water your lawn, apply 1-1½ inches of water per week in one long, deep application.
- Do your best to keep dreaded disease problems out of your garden this year – especially apple scab, powdery mildew and botrytis blight. Understanding the basics of the Disease Triangle can help you have a healthier garden this season!
- Move houseplants outside for a summer vacation. Never place them in direct sun. (Even plants get sunburned!) Dappled shade is suitable for most “vacationing” houseplants.
- Spice up your summer garden with homegrown herbs. Rosemary, basil, parsley and many more can be garden- and container-grown, then used to season foods the healthy (and affordable) way.
Key Issues for June
- Weeds are beginning to take over many lawns and garden beds this time of year. Good weed management and early action is your best defense. The first step is to know what kind of weed you’re dealing with so you can get rid of it properly. With some weeds, hand-pulling can actually do more harm than good, and not all weed killers are the same.
- If you opt to use a chemical treatment of any kind, always read and follow all label information and directions!
- If you’re not sure what a particular pest in your garden is or how to deal with it, contact your local Cooperative Extension office for help in pest identification and control.
- Be on the lookout for slugs in the garden. These slimy critters can be found lurking under the protective leaves of many plants during the day, then surfacing at night to do their damage.