Continue planting warm-season vegetables. Beans, peas, squash, corn and cucumbers can be seeded through July for successive crops.
You can also plant vegetables in containers and grow them on decks, patios or other small spaces. Use potting mix, not potting soil, when planting.
Most trees and shrubs are sold in containers. If buying now, use care when planting, as the tree or shrub often is not as well rooted as later in season, and you can damage roots when removing the container.
Gladiola corms can still be planted for successive blooms.
Most varieties of pumpkins should be planted in June for harvest in October.
Daffodil clusters should be divided every 3 years to ensure good blooming. Dig the clumps, remove the yellowed leaves, and replant the bulbs just as you would in the fall.
Irises and daylilies can be divided even while in bloom. This is useful if you need to keep flower colors separated. Remove any remaining flowers, cut leaves half way back and replant the divisions as soon as possible.
It is hard to pull out the pansies when they are in full bloom, but they will soon fade out in the summer heat. It is best to go ahead and replace them with summer bloomers if you want color in that location all summer.
Plant hydrangeas where they receive morning sun and afternoon shade.
This is a good time to repot houseplants if you have not done so.
Keep a close eye on the quality of your spring crops. Hot weather causes lettuce to bolt and become bitter. Plant a warm-season crop as soon as the spring vegetables are harvested.
At the end of the month, gardeners can set out more tomato plants for a fall harvest.
Fertilize the lawn this month. Use a complete lawn fertilizer with a 3-1-2 ratio of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.
A split application of calcium nitrate or equivalent should be applied during the summer for newly planted peach trees: 1/2 cup calcium nitrate in early June and again in early August.
Roses will need to be fertilized each month through the summer after each flush of flowers.
Feed houseplants with a good quality indoor plant food such Osmocote (slow-release granular).
Check vegetable plant foliage for signs of nutrient deficiency. Contact your Co-op store for advice.
Vegetable garden plants, other than legumes such as beans, lentils, peas and peanuts, need a regular supply of nitrogen fertilizer beginning 5 or 6 weeks after planting.
Give container gardens a weekly feeding or use a slow-release fertilizer as instructed on the label.
Do not fertilize fescue lawns until September.
Feed water lilies and other aquatic plants in home water gardens.
Heat is a key factor in the decomposition process. During the summer months, high temperatures can cause organic materials that have been added to your garden for fertilization purposes to decompose and break down more quickly. Adding additional organic materials to your garden soil can help to improve plant health and soil quality as the summer heat speeds up decomposition and the release of organic nutrients.
This is a good month for shearing, pinching or pruning junipers, cypress or conifers. If you’ve been cultivating a special living Christmas tree, sculpt it now.
Prune suckers and water sprouts from all fruit trees.
Remove old flower heads from annual bedding plants to keep them blooming.
Pinch your chrysanthemums to encourage them to be bushier and have more blossoms. Pinch them again, every 6 inches or so, as they grow until mid-July.
Also continue to pinch back tall growing fall bloomers such as asters, monarda and salvias.
Make sure your climbing roses are securely tied into position and prune them after blooming.
If your tomato plants are staked, not caged, pinch out suckers.
Pinch back any annuals, fuchsias, geraniums, cosmos or any other plants that might be getting a little leggy.
Hurricane season begins June 1; it’s not too late to have your trees checked and trimmed.
Groom hanging baskets by removing old flowers and lanky shoots.
Be on the lookout for dead, damaged, diseased wood in trees and shrubs, and prune them out as discovered.
Check all newly planted shrubs and trees for water on a regular basis. Irrigate deeply and thoroughly as needed.
During the hot summer months, mulch can be especially useful for conserving water. For vegetable gardens, shredded leaves or grass clippings are good mulch material. For ornamentals, pine needles or wood bark do the best job.
As Irish potato plants begin to die back, reduce watering.
Overhead irrigation, especially late in the afternoon, is likely to spread certain foliar diseases. If you use overhead irrigation, do so earlier in the day so plants can dry before night.
As the weather dries out, your container-grown plants may need daily watering especially if the pots are exposed to the drying sunlight.
Fix leaky hoses and check irrigation systems for broken sprinklers.
Trim limbs and remove weeds that may be interfering with sprinkler operation.
Keep an eye on soil moisture. Vegetable gardens need one inch of water each week. When soaking rains skip your neighborhood, water slowly and deeply to encourage roots to travel away from the hot ground surface. This also reduces runoff and moistens the soil several inches down.
Consider adding rain barrels or cisterns to capture and store water for the dry times. Your Cooperative Extension System office has details on this and other irrigation ideas.
Summer is upon us! Although most of your planting may be done, your battle with pests –insects, diseases, weeds and wildlife – has just begun.
Identify garden pests before you attempt to control them. If you decide to use a chemical control, read the label carefully.
The best practices in disease control are rotation, clean seed, resistant varieties (when available), early planting, plowing under old crop debris, mulching and seed treatment. Chemical fungicides may be used to control some common leaf diseases of tomatoes, squash, cucumbers and cantaloupes.
Put a couple of drops of mineral oil on corn silks within a week after they appear to prevent corn earworm.
Protect ripening berries from birds with nets or row covers.
The cool, wet spring has caused the slugs and snails to grow into armies! Be alert to the damage they cause. Seek out and destroy!
Change the water in your bird bath regularly. Standing water may become a breeding ground for mosquito larvae.
June is the time to apply a fungicide to the lawn to control turf diseases such as brown patch, dollar spot and others. Visit your local Co-op store for suggestions.
Check your roses for mildew, aphid, black-spot or other disease problems or insect infestations, and if they appear take steps to control them right away.
To protect bees pollinating many of our crop plants, spray pesticides in the evening after bees have returned to their hives.
Aerate and immediately water lawns that are compacted, hard, too wet or have nematode problems.
Bats can be an effective way to control insects. One big brown bat can eat 3,000-7,000 insects each night. Attract bats by building and placing bat houses in your yard.
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.
Avoid blossom-end rot in tomatoes, peppers, squash and watermelons by maintaining uniform soil moisture. See your local Co-op store for possible calcium application recommendations.
Summer storms and warm temperatures can cause weeds to quickly grow out of control. During June and July, weed your garden regularly in the early morning or late evening hours to prevent yourself from getting overheated while working. Weed removal is important for a number of reasons. It conserves moisture, conserves nutrients in the soil, and helps prevent the spread of disease and insects.
Check new plant growth for aphids. Aphids, or plant lice, can weaken plants and delay growth.
Remember to keep a record in your garden journal of what is planted where and what varieties you grew. You will want this information next year for garden rotation and to remember what vegetable varieties you liked - or did not like.
Give the compost a turn.
Make sure the birds have fresh water.
Stop harvesting asparagus and allow their foliage to mature.
Replace cool-season flowers such as pansies and crops such as spinach that have bolted with the heat.
Use bark mulch around young trees to protect them from lawn mower damage.
If you do not have much room to landscape, consider using some of the many dwarf varieties available. These are plants that have slow growth and stay small, so there is little pruning maintenance. There are numerous dwarf evergreens, flowering trees and shrubs from which to choose.
The best time to harvest most herbs is just before flowering, when the leaves contain the maximum essential oils.
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.
Leftover vegetable and flower seeds may be stored in a cool dry location to be saved for planting next year.
Stake tall flowers to keep them from blowing over in the wind. Add a stake to each planting hole as you’re transplanting, and tie the stem loosely to the stake as the plant grows.
Allow one or two runners to develop from the most productive strawberry plants.
At exactly noon June 15, set your sundial to 12 or XII to get the most accurate time reading throughout the summer.
Dethatching the lawn should wait until fall. However, there is still plenty of time to perforate the lawn, if it is needed.
Indeterminate tomato varieties continue to grow vines all season and benefit from suckering. Remove suckers that sprout from the stem up to the first flower cluster. This will promote earlier fruiting and keep the plants to a manageable size. "Celebrity" and other determinate varieties will not sprawl as much and do not require suckering.
Keep lawns mowed regularly, but do not set the blades too low. This is a common mistake leading to less vigorous growth and higher chance of disease.
Now is a great time to install a water garden. Water features will allow you to enjoy the soothing sights and sounds of water.
Involve the kids or grandkids in growing vegetables. It’s fun. It’s easy and it builds kids’ enthusiasm for gardening and eating healthy - because they tend to eat what they grow!
Almost all vegetables are best when harvested early in the morning. Overnight, vegetables regain moisture they lost during the day and starches formed during the day may be converted to sugars during the evening. Vegetable quality is highest at the moment of harvest and begins to decrease rapidly afterwards.
Frequent picking is essential for prolonging the vegetable harvest. A plant’s goal is to reproduce; therefore, if its fruit are allowed to fully mature on the plant, there is no reason for it to continue flowering, meaning fruit production will halt.
If you suspect bees haven’t found your tomato plants, pollinate the blossoms yourself. Do this by gently tapping the open blossom with a pencil. For maximum effectiveness, do this frequently as new blooms open.
There are several indicators for ripeness of watermelon. The vine tendril closest to the fruit dies and turns brown when ready to harvest. Also, the underside of the fruit will turn from white to yellow. Finally, thumping a ripe melon should give a dull thud as opposed to a ringing, metallic sound when immature.
Use both hands to pick peas, beans and cucumbers to prevent breaking stems.
Some herbs such as basil and parsley are good additions to the vegetable garden. Others prefer drier conditions and little fertilizer. Herbs from the Mediterranean region such as lavender, rosemary, thyme, marjoram, dill and oregano will have greater concentrations of those essential oils if given lots of sun, very well-drained soil and very little fertilizer.
Don’t bag or rake grass clippings; let them lie on the lawn to return nitrogen to the soil.
Replace constantly declining turf in dense shade with a mulch or ground cover.
To get the color of crape myrtle you want, you should purchase a containerized plant now while it is in bloom in the nursery.
Adjust ties on trees and shrubs to prevent girdling of stems.
Build, repair or paint trellises, arbors and lawn furniture.
Change the oil and air filter in gas-powered equipment as instructed in manuals.
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.
Ethanol-enriched gases have a shorter storage life; buy smaller quantities or add a stabilizer.
Harvest turnip roots when they reach the size of a tennis ball or larger (2½-2¾ inches in diameter). Like rutabagas, pithiness and/or a very strong flavor can develop if these crops are left in the ground during hot weather.
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.