|Lawn and Garden Maintenance Checklist|
|June Lawn and Garden Maintenance Checklist|
· Start seeds for next year’s perennials.
· Continue to plant summer annuals.
· Plant pumpkins for pies and a fall display.
· You haven’t missed tomato time. Plants put out now will easily catch up and bear.
· Almost any vegetable can be planted and grown in a container if given the proper care. One of the biggest problems is that containers dry out very fast and nutrients wash away. Both are solvable. Do not use clay pots which dry out quickly. Plastic, composite or wooden half-barrels are good. Vegetables like a roomy container. There must be drainage holes in the bottom. Use a good commercial potting mix, not planter or planting mix. Group the containers together so they will shade one another. The hot, summer sun can heat the soil to unhealthy levels. Water whenever the soil is dry. Fertilize every week with a water-soluble fertilizer.
· The time when you should fertilize warm-season grasses is late spring, because that’s the time when they begin to grow most actively. Fertilizing again in summer and early autumn will keep them vigorous. Avoid fertilizing warm-season grasses late in autumn. That’s when warm-season grasses are winding down their growing season and fostering new growth would only make them more susceptible to winter injury.
· Fertilize your strawberries after renovation of June bearers or second harvest of day-neutrals and everbearing-types. Do not over fertilize or you will have excessive leaf growth and poor flowering.
· Side-dress row crop vegetables when well-established. Do not apply nitrogen fertilizer to legumes.
· Pinch back leggy plants to promote branching.
· Deadhead flowers to encourage more blooms.
· Disbud chrysanthemum flowers to secure large, beautiful blooms on straight, strong stems. To disbud, remove the small side buds along the stems which form in the angles of the leaves. This will allow all of the food reserves to be used for one large flower rather than many smaller ones.
· Deadhead and lightly prune roses regularly throughout the summer. When pruning, always remember to cut above a stem with five leaves.
· On basil plants, pinch off flower buds to promote leafier growth.
· Trim hedges while new growth is soft.
· Be on the lookout for dead, damaged, diseased wood in trees and shrubs; prune them out as discovered. Do the same with suckers and water sprouts.
· Lightly prune tips of blackberries and pinch flowers off young grapevines to form and train growth of new canes.
· Remember to disinfect pruning shears between cuts.
· Check your rain gauge to make sure you get at least one inch of rain a week in your garden. If not, irrigate deeply.
· Throughout the season, check your irrigation system to be sure it’s working correctly. If you have drip lines, open the end and turn on the water to clean out the line. Close the end of the line and check each emitter or sprayer to make sure it is working properly and isn’t clogged. Check popup sprinklers for full spray and for proper placement of water. Make sure the irrigation timer is set correctly as well.
· After your vegetable garden is well established, it is best to water it thoroughly once a week rather than giving it a light watering every day. That way, a deeper root system is encouraged to develop, which will later help the plants tolerate dry weather.
· Water containers every day or two.
· We’ve already experienced dry periods in much of the Southeast in April and May. Daily wilting of many spring-planted ornamentals has already occurred. These plants will be wilted by mid-afternoon on a hot day, but will be completely recovered the next morning after a good soaking. An extended period without extra moisture and this temporary wilting can become a permanent, non-reversible situation. This is known as permanent wilting point…the next step is to remove a dead plant!
· Always follow the instructions on the pesticide label!
· Remember all insects in the garden are not necessarily pests. Be sure to properly identify insects as pests before treating.
· To protect bees pollinating many of our crop plants, spray pesticides in the evening after bees have returned to their hives.
· Heavy rains encourage slug problems. Go on a few extra slug patrols and control as needed.
· Remove aphids with a squirt from the water hose.
· Armored scale insects are in the crawler stage in early summer. Armored scale has a hard stage that is very resistant to sprays. Control them during the crawler stage when they are soft and vulnerable. Spray with a horticultural (not dormant) oil, once a month for three months.
· Put a couple of drops of mineral oil on corn silks within a week after they appear, to help prevent corn earworm.
· Watch for cinch bugs in St. Augustine grass.
· The use of milky spore disease (Bacillus popilliae) will control root-eating Japanese beetle grubs in your lawn and garden, but it is most effective in neighborhoods where most residents use it. Otherwise, Japanese beetle larvae hatching and growing into maturity will fly onto your property and eat plant leaves anyway.
· Watch for fleas on your pets and begin a control program.
· Watch for and control blackspot and powdery mildew on rose foliage. Continue to spray peach and apple trees to control fungal diseases.
· June is the time to apply a fungicide to the lawn to control turf diseases like brown patch, dollar spot and others.
· Fire blight bacteria symptoms appear as blackened, dead branches and twigs with a torched look. It hits ornamentals like pyracantha, cotoneaster, flowering pear and crabapple, and fruit trees like apple, pear, loquat and quince. Prune the infected branch about eight inches below the dead area.
· If you weed one section of your garden at a time rather than jumping from place to place, it’s faster and more efficient. Afterward do a little each day and stay on top of the task. Weeds are not just unsightly but steal moisture, nutrients and light from desired plants.
· We humans generate over six pounds of trash per person per day. Reduce the amount you generate by buying Bonnie Plants in biodegradable pots and recycle whenever possible.
· Set your tomato supports in place before plants get too large. Smaller determinate varieties can be supported with small cages, but larger indeterminate varieties need large cages or tall stakes. Secure cages with stakes so they don’t topple.
· Leftover vegetable and flower seeds may be stored in a cool, dry location for planting next year. One method is to place seed packets in a jar or plastic bag and store the containers in the refrigerator or freezer.
· The best time to harvest most herbs is just before flowering, when the leaves contain the maximum essential oils.
· Keep asparagus well-weeded and let them grow lots of ferns the rest of the summer into fall.
· As appealing as they are, birds will generally not be scared away by scarecrows. Instead, try tying pieces of glass, colored-cloth or tin to loose strings so the wind can blow them and clash them together. Random motion is the key to alarming the birds away from the garden.
· Mulching with organic matter like chipped tree trimmings, compost or barks not only reduce water usage but also improves the organic content and texture of soil. Apply at least two to three inches of material (three to six inches of larger bark pieces), keeping it several inches away from the trunks of trees and shrubs to prevent crown rots. Renew every few years as it decomposes.
· Label plants while visible and blooming.
· Mow regularly, especially when mulching the clippings.
· Aerate and dethatch warm-season lawns.
· Edge beds to make a clean line and define them, and keep edges clean with regular fine-tuning with grass shears. A well-cut edge makes a big difference.
· Be prepared for ‘June Drop’ of fruit from fruit trees. They’re just thinning out to a manageable crop size. Clean up any fallen fruit.
· Deadhead any messy-looking bulbs as blooms fade, but continue to leave bulb foliage intact to wither and ripen the bulbs naturally.
· Houseplants including amaryllis and clivia, among many, can spend the summer outdoors, in a sheltered location with filtered-bright light (not direct sun). Pinch back and repot those needing it as you transition them and feed regularly.
· Thanks to their small size and sun-loving habit, potted cacti and other succulents are perfect summer plants for your porch, patio or deck. As with any potted plant, always select a container with drainage holes. Spread gravel, pottery shards or window screen in the bottom of the container over the drainage hole to hold the potting soil. Top with a combination of ½ good potting mix and ½ perlite or volcanic pumice. Succulents are slow growing, so pack them tightly in the container. Succulents store water in their fleshy leaves and flourish in dry conditions. Keep the soil as moist as a well-wrung sponge. Cover exposed soil with small stones or other materials of your choice.
· In raised beds and permanent potted gardens, replace mulch and aerate soil.
· Don’t let the compost pile or bins dry out completely, or it will not "cook."
· Turning the compost to aerate it will also hasten decomposition, but things will rot eventually even if not turned.
· Beat the humidity. Work early a.m. and late afternoon/evening.
· Keep birdbaths clean to discourage mosquitoes.
· When you buy container-grown nursery stock, check the rootball and make sure it is not bound too tightly. A mass of circling roots will stay that way even after it is planted in the ground.
· Before pouring gasoline into the fuel tank of your lawn mower, garden tiller or other garden equipment, be sure to turn off the engine and allow it to cool for at least five minutes.
· Bats can be an effective way to control insects. One native brown bat can eat several thousand insects each night. Attract bats by building and placing bat houses in your yard.
· Now is a great time to install a water garden. Water features will allow you to enjoy the soothing sights and sounds of water.
· The best time to pick flowers from your garden is in the early morning. For longer lasting arrangements, use a clean container, change your water daily and cut the tip off the stems every few days.
· To avoid back strain and assorted muscle pains, try the following suggestions while doing lawn work:
· Most azaleas are easily propagated from cuttings taken after the new growth is four to six inches in length. This is usually performed in early to mid-summer.
· A sundial should be set on June 15. Place it so the shadow falls on the 12 o’clock position at exactly noon on this date.