You are here: Month to Month Tips > June
In June, we totter between appreciating the beauties of the spring garden - dogwoods, azaleas, tulips, daffodils, peonies, iris - and anticipating the joys of the summer garden - vibrantly colored annuals and perennials, the first tomatoes, and the pungent scents of basil and lavender. June is a great time to be outside: the weather is staying warm (but without the prolonged heat and humidity that's sure to follow), annuals and perennials are blooming, and if you're lucky enough to have planted an early edible garden, you're harvesting salad greens, spinach, peas and strawberries. Even if you're behind schedule with your gardening plans (and what gardener we know isn't?), there's still time to do what you need to do before the dog days of summer arrive, so take the time to relax in your garden and revel in its beauty.
Cut lawns high 2 to 3 inches for fescue/bluegrass lawns - and leave clippings on the lawn if possible. Cut zoysia and bermuda grass lawns at 3/4 - 1. Fertilize zoysia and bermuda grass (but not bluegrass or fescue) in July.
Lawns need at least an inch of water each week. If Mother Nature doesn't supply it, you should. Water deeply - at least an hour in each spot - to promote deeper root development. Water in the morning to help prevent the development of fungal disease.
Watch for signs of fungal problems such as brown patches. Bring us a sample of both the brown patch and a nearby green patch for disease identification and treatment recommendations.
Apply MERIT to your lawn between now and July to control Japanese beetle grubs. Japanese beetles harm your garden several ways and the grubs eat grass roots, weakening your lawn and causing patches to die. Then the grubs turn into Japanese beetles, which can skeletonize the leaves of their favorite plants. Also, the grubs are a food source for moles. Get rid of the grubs and you'll get rid of your mole problems.
Around the Garden
Flower beds, shrubs, trees and vegetable gardens should also be getting at least one inch of water a week. Water in the morning to avoid disease problems.
Your plants in pots and hanging baskets need more frequent watering. Check soil daily.Frequent watering tends to wash nutrients out of the soil quickly, so fertilize regularly with MIRACLE-GRO or other liquid fertilizers. Follow label directions - more is not better. Or use OSMOCOTE timed release fertilizer for a one time application.
It's still a good time to plant container grown trees, shrubs, groundcovers, perennials and annuals. Remember that newly planted plants need more regular watering than established plants.
Attract BENEFICIAL INSECTS to your garden by planting a variety of flowering annuals and perennials to bloom over the entire growing season.
Prune and shape spring-flowering trees and shrubs now. Do not prune summer-blooming shrubs, or you'll prune off flower buds. Wait until after they bloom.
Deadhead(remove spent flowers) to tidy up your flowering plants and encourage them to bloom more. Many annuals - such as petunias, cosmos, dianthus, dahlias, zinnias and geraniums - will stop blooming if allowed to go to seed. Others, such as impatiens and flowering vinca, clean themselves and do not need to be deadheaded.
Your pansies a will soon look scraggly, if they don't already. There's nothing you can do to prevent it, short of moving them to Vermont. They simply don't do well in heat. Replace them with warm weather annuals for the summer, then plant new pansies in the fall. Pansies will usually survive the winter and come back for a great display next spring.
Cut spiderwort back to the ground when it finishes blooming and looks ugly. It will send up new shoots and bloom again later in the summer. Perennial geraniums also benefit from being cut back when they get leggy. (Do not cut back the big showy annual geraniums; if you're not sure what you have, just ask us!)
Fertilize annuals with MIRACLE-GRO every two weeks unless you added Osmocote time release fertilizer to your plantings.
Pinch back mums and asters and feed with MIRACLE-GRO for showy flowers in the fall.
Four lined plant bugs are feeding, especially on mint. Nymphs are bright red; adults are yellowish green with four black stripes. They leave rows of small round dark spots. Plants typically grow out - remove unsightly leaves and wait them out, or if infestation is bad, spray with Safers.
Spring-blooming perennials that need to be divided can be dug and divided now - the sooner the better.
Avoid applying fertilizers, fungicides, insecticides and weed killers when temperatures rise above 85 degrees. Damage may occur to plants at high temperatures. Please read and follow all label directions before application (an excellent idea, even when temperatures are below 85 degrees).
Fuzzy white egg masses of wooly hemlock adelgid crawlers are feeding now. Spray with ULTRAFINE HORTICULTURAL OIL.
In the Fruit and Vegetable Patch
Cover ripening berries with HARVEST GUARD netting to protect your crop from the birds.
Don't let basil or other culinary herbs flower; flowering changes the taste. Pinch back the top leaves to prevent flowering and promote bush plants. Herbs are best harvested in the morning - cut the stems, then strip off the leaves. To dry herbs, hang branches in a cool, dark place.
Herbs such as dill, fennel, cilantro and cress go to seed in hot weather. Plants in part shade may last a little longer. Replant in late summer when the weather begins to cool.
Watch for cabbage worms (velvety green caterpillars) on broccoli and cabbage . Spray for dust with BT, a bacteria that kills caterpillars but is not toxic to humans or insects. To harvest broccoli, cut the main head with some of the stalk, but leave the rest of the plant and fertilize it. Many varieties produce 'sideshoots' (smaller broccoli heads) well into the summer.
Begin to fertilize your houseplants with a full strength solution of Miracle-Gro for maximum growth over the summer months.
Give potbound houseplants a new home. Remember, only move up one or two pot sizes. Use clean containers and light weight, well draining soil such as Country Cottage potting soil.
Most houseplants are tropical plants that long for the rainforest. They benefit from summer's humidity, so bring them outside for the summer if you can. Check your houseplants frequently for water when they are outside. They dry out faster than when they are kept inside. And, on the opposite end, make sure they have drainage so that summer showers don't drown them.
Even if you don't bring your plants out for the summer, treat them to a shower on a warm rainy day. This is a good way to wash away dust collected over the winter.
When watering boston ferns or any fern that has a full soft crown (top), lift up the fronds and water from underneath, or submerge the plant in a bucket of water. Otherwise, the weight of the water can easily break down the crown.
Orchids can come outside for the summer in filtered sun or shade. Keep them up off the ground so that slugs and other critters will be less likely to move in. A covered porch which allows them to benefit from the humidity while allowing you to control watering is ideal.