June Garden Tips
June is known for lots of blooms coming forth in the garden, particularly this year, when the weather remained cold and our patience has worn thin. We may be seeing plants that we normally see in late May blooming in June. So let’s not waste any time and get started with things to do in the garden in June.
As usual, we are beating the drum about pH soil testing. Start out right, rather than find out after plants seem to fail that your pH was off. We test for free so bring in a tablespoon of soil for us to test.
Watering. So far we’ve had a bit of a break when it comes to watering with all the rain. The weather can always change so watch for drier days and adjust your watering schedule accordingly. New plants rely on deep watering so their roots can grow downward into the soil, where they will be more likely to eventually find water on their own. Don’t we all sometimes think any water is better than no water? Sprinkling a little water on plants often encourages roots to stay at the surface where they shouldn’t be for the long haul. So, deep watering less often is key to establishing new plants.
Soaker hoses save you money on water and save plants from the threat of disease. Water soaking directly into the ground to the roots of plants keeps water off areas that don’t need it.
Check containers often! Here’s a tip for watering container gardens. Check it by weight. This is how we check water needs here at the garden center. If your container feels light when you lift it or lift a corner of it (if it’s heavy), then it’s time for a thorough soaking. Hanging baskets can be pushed up from below to check weight. Containers should almost dry out before watering again. Also, make sure you’ve planted containers in something with drainage holes, otherwise plant roots will rot.
Mulch. As we go into summer, help your plants by adding mulch to areas that are bare or have a thin layer of mulch. This will help conserve moisture and cause the plant less stress when things heat up. When mulching around new trees and shrubs make sure the mulch is a few inches away from the trunk. Not sure how much mulch to get? Use our handy mulch calculator.
Roses. Soaker hoses are excellent for watering roses. Keeping water off the leaves reduces the occurrence of diseases like black spot. Find out about preventing Black Spot. This is much less of a concern with Knockout roses. Roses are heavy feeders and they need to be to bloom as heavily as they do. Continue to feed with Rose-Tone each month. Keep all roses clean around the base; adding some mulch is a good idea for keeping weeds and diseases away from the plant. When planting roses, make sure to give each plant a very liberal area of air circulation. This will keep your roses much healthier in the long run.
Stake all taller perennials now when they’re at a height that’s easy to deal with. Weeds will constantly appear now. Read up on weeding solutions.
Sow seeds directly in the ground without fear of frost.
Pruning. Flowering shrubs such as spirea, viburnum, lilac, and forsythia should be pruned as soon as they are done flowering. If you wait until after this month, you may trim off next year’s buds. Prune suckers from fruit trees. Prune older canes on your climbing roses. Prune Group I clematis. Learn how to determine which type of clematis you have.
Trimming hedges now after they’ve pushed out their new growth is allowed! Trim by taking off no more than 1/3 of the plant.
Rhododendrons and Azaleas have developed seedpods. Remove these to improve next year’s bloom. Next year’s bud may be hiding just under the seedpod, so be careful which one you remove. Feed with Holly-Tone immediately after they’ve finished flowering. Watch for lacebugs that can be on azaleas and rhododendrons. This is easy to treat and it’s worth saving the appearance of your ornamental shrubs. Find out about Lacebugs.
Divide. Daffodils like to be divided every 3 years to promote continuing blooming each spring. After the foliage has died back, you can divide and move to a new spot in your garden. Divide ground covers now and transplant to extend their range. Perennial flowers that have already bloomed may be divided now if needed.
Dahlias. It’s dahlia planting time this month! Dahlias want to live in full sun and this means at least 6 hrs. a day. Put dahlias in a spot with well-draining soil.
Veggies, fruits & berries. It’s time to plant warm season veggies like peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, corn, squash, pumpkins and melons. See these tips on growing Edibles.
Lawns. As the weather gets warmer, keep lawns mowed at 2.5-3 inches to defend from weeds and diseases. Longer blades of grass also mean deeper roots! Hot and dry weather stresses the grass and you’ll stress it further by cutting it at too low a setting. You can still overseed or reseed bare or thin parts of your lawn, but keep the spots well watered. If you didn’t fertilize your lawn, do so now, but hold off on fertilizing after this. Lawns will slow down their growth in the hot days of July and feeding may stress the grass.
Houseplants. It’s definitely time to release your houseplants into the wild! Acclimate them slowly by moving them into shade first. Some will stay in the shade all season depending on the plant. Read this for some info on who goes in the sun and who stays in the shade. Even if your houseplant is a full sun lover don’t move it from indoors directly to the direct sun exposure.
Feed. This is a good time to feed houseplants. Any all-purpose plant food is good. We like Jack’s Classic. This is the time to re-pot rootbound plants as well.
Think about Bees. It benefits all of us to take care to protect bees. Pollination is key to plant life and crops, so use organic solutions for disease and insect problems in the garden. If you must use pesticides, do so in the evening when bees are in the hive.
Deadhead flowers that appear to need it. Many new varieties of annuals don’t need to be deadheaded, but it’s a good idea to tour your garden once a week to take care of faded blooms. Rotting blooms not only cause the plant to produce fewer flowers but can also bring on diseases.
Watch for fungal diseases. If we have cool, moist weather some plants will develop powdery mildew. Plants such as roses, monarda, crabapples, lilacs, and phlox are generally prone. Find out how to identify powdery mildew and how to treat it.
Slugs are particularly fond of hosta but will make a meal of other plants too. Never seen during the day, the damage they do during the night is evident. Slug Magic is a great product that really does work and is very easy to use and can be used around pets and wildlife.
Don’t forget the birds! Remember to check the water level in birdbaths often.