June To-Do List

What we do in the garden this month really depends on the weather.  If it gets hot again, you can forget re-seeding your lawn, but if we get our usual “June Gloom”, then there is no problem.  If it stays cool, we can sow carrots and peas, but if it is hot, they won’t germinate worth a darn.  No matter what the weather though, hot or cool, we can always plant shrubs, trees, perennials and annuals throughout the entire summer, as long as we water them in well.  If it weren’t so, we wouldn’t be selling them!  Here are some other chores to consider:


VEGGIES:  It’s time for warm season crops like corn, beans, tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers to be planted.  It feels like most of us have already done this due to the early warm weather.  Since harvesting a crop removes nutrients from the soil, it is imperative to replace both the organic content and nutrients by annually adding compost and fertilizer to our garden beds.  It is best to do this before we plant, but if that didn’t happen, apply these goodies in and around your new transplants as soon as possible.  It will make a huge difference.  Make a second application of fertilizer in 6 weeks.


LAWNS:  If it stays cool, attack your lawn with a vengeance and do all the things you intended to do back in the spring.  If it stays in the 80s, hold off.


ROSES:  The roses are blooming early this year and once the first flush is over, it is important to prune them back and fertilize again.  In my opinion, growing hybrid tea roses requires the timely application of some chemicals, either natural or synthetic, to control bugs and diseases.  It’s a small price to pay for the enjoyment roses provide for us.


PERENNIALSI love perennials because they create a constantly changing look to the garden.  Remember though, most perennials only bloom for 5 to 6 weeks, so it is imperative that you combine early, mid and late bloomers to provide continuous non-stop color and interest.  Hopefully you bought some back in March, April and May.  June is the beginning of the summer bloomers, so buy a few now and a few more next month.  You will have a nice succession of color in your border. 


ANNUALS:  Did you save room for the June stuff?  Even if you have planted all of your summer color, you will be surprised by how many more choices there are in the garden center in June.  Heat lovers, like lantana, zinnias, cannas and dahlias, are now in good supply.   Remember, annuals are heavy feeders.  To get the most out of them, you should be feeding on a regular basis (think Sea Grow).  The more you feed, the bigger and more colorful they will be.  


WEED CONTROLThis should be easy.  Clean up the weeds, try my favorite tool the Hula Hoe, spread a generous helping of organic fertilizer and cover the soil with a one-inch layer of compost.  Your beds will look tidy, what few weeds do come up will be very easy to remove and your plants will be fed for the growing season.  


PRUNING:  There is always something to prune in the garden.  Trim the hedges, deadhead the rhodies and clean up the spring bloomers.  Then analyze the rest of the garden to see what needs editing.  You can do “light” pruning any time of the year.