Continue planting cantaloupes, corn, cucumbers, okra, peanuts, Southern peas, summer squash and sweet potatoes.
Plant a new batch of bush beans every couple of weeks.
Keep a close eye on the quality of your spring crops. Pull spent vegetable plants, re-till the soil and plant your second crops. Water these crops as needed.
Plant a cover crop in vacant beds.
Plant easy-to-grow Bonnie herbs such as basil, oregano, thyme and rosemary in a sunny spot.
Gladiola corms can still be planted for successive blooms until mid-month.
Now that the foliage of daffodils has died back, you may divide and move the bulbs to a new spot. Daffodil clusters should be divided every 3 years to ensure good blooming.
This is an excellent month to get a few new perennials and plant them in the garden.
Tuberous begonias can now be safely planted outdoors.
At the end of the month, gardeners can set out more tomato plants for a harvest this fall.
Plant annual flowers in tubs or large containers for the porch or terrace. Make sure there are holes in the container’s bottom to provide good drainage.
When you buy container-grown nursery stock, check the root ball 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.
Check the foliage of vegetable plants for signs of nutrient deficiency.
Side dress your vegetables with a balanced fertilizer, compost or well-rotted manure. Do not use nitrogen fertilizers on legumes.
Fertilize your lawn. Use a complete lawn fertilizer with a 3-1-2 ratio of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.
Your roses will need to be fertilized each month through the summer.
Feed your houseplants the recommended strength of a good soluble houseplant fertilizer.
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.
Keep suckers pinched from staked tomato plants.
Cut and dry thyme, oregano and mint.
Prune suckers and water sprouts from all fruit trees.
Deadhead the developing seed pods from your rhododendrons and azaleas to improve next year’s bloom. Be careful not to damage developing buds which may be hidden just below the pod.
It’s hedge sculpting and trimming time!
Pinch back any annuals that might be getting a little leggy.
Pinch your chrysanthemums to encourage them to be bushier and have more blossoms. Continue pinching every six inches of growth until early July.
Prune climbing roses after blooming.
Take cuttings for rooting of deciduous and broadleaf evergreen shrubs. Use the air-layering method on hard-to-root plants.
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.
Be on the lookout for dead, damaged, diseased wood in trees and shrubs, and prune them out as discovered.
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 your lawn in the early morning so the turf will have time to dry before night, preventing disease.
Fix leaky hoses.
Adding mulch to flower beds and around garden plants will help garden soil retain moisture during the hot months of June and July. There are various types of mulches you can choose from including both organic and inorganic materials. Popular garden mulches include bark chips, grass clippings, stones, garden fabric or plastic, and straw.
Set up a rain barrel for irrigation.
As the weather dries out, your container grown plants may need daily watering and misting especially if the pots are exposed to the drying sunlight.
Add Soil Moist Granules to containers to absorb water and release it as needed. Follow instructions on the package for best results.
Keep Japanese iris watered.
Keep the weeds pulled before they have a chance to flower and go to seed again. Otherwise, you will be fighting newly germinated weed seed for the next several years!
Be alert to slug and snail damage ... seek and destroy ALL slugs!
Change the water in your birdbath regularly. Standing water may become a breeding ground for mosquito larvae.
Check your roses for mildew, aphid, black-spot or other disease problems or insect infestations. If they appear, take steps to control them right away. Your local Co-op store personnel can give you recommendations.
Protect your fruit from the birds with netting.
Put a couple of drops of mineral oil on corn silks within a week after they appear to prevent corn earworm.
Identify problems before acting, and opt for the least toxic approach. Cultural, physical and biological controls are the cornerstones of a sustainable pest management program. Use chemical controls only after you identify a pest problem and carefully read the pesticide label.
To protect bees that pollinate many of our crop plants, spray pesticides in the evening after bees have returned to their hives.
In most cases, blossom-end rot on tomatoes, peppers, squash and watermelons can be prevented. Do this by maintaining uniform soil moisture by mulching and watering correctly, planting in well-drained soil and not cultivating deeper than one inch within one foot of the plant. Also avoid the use of high-nitrogen fertilizers.
Bats can be an effective way to control insects. Attract bats by building and placing bat houses in your yard.
Check new plant growth for aphids. Aphids, or plant lice, can weaken plants and delay growth.
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.
Work around the heat and humidity (early morning, late afternoon/evening).
Most vegetables attain their best eating quality when allowed to ripen on the plant, but often this peak quality is reached before the vegetable is fully mature (i.e. cucumbers, squash, okra, sweet corn, peas and beans).
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.
Be gentle with garden plants while harvesting vegetables. If vegetables are not easily removed when twisted or pulled, use a knife, scissors or hand pruners. These tools help prevent tearing or breaking of a plant that could lead to disease infection. Also, be careful not to step on stems or foliage of the plants while harvesting.
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, which means fruit production will halt.
The best time to harvest most herbs is just before flowering, when the leaves contain the maximum essential oils.
To get the color of crape myrtle you want, you should purchase a containerized plant now while it is in bloom in the nursery.
Build, repair or paint trellises, arbors and lawn furniture.
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.
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.
Don’t bag or rake grass clippings; let them lie on the lawn to return nitrogen to the soil.
Start a water garden.
Keep the bird feeder full and make sure they have fresh 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!
At exactly noon June 15, set your sundial for 12 o’clock to get the most accurate time reading throughout the summer. Other days to set your dial are April 15, September 1 and December 24.
Continue to mound the soil up around your potato plants. It does no harm to the plant if the soil covers the stem. As early potatoes begin to die back, reduce watering in anticipation of harvest.
Cut back bearded iris and divide.
Give the compost a turn to encourage decomposition.
Mulch fruit tree root area with a thin layer of compost, topped with three inches of mulch. Replenish mulches around plants to keep weeds down and conserve moisture.
Stake tall flowers to keep them from blowing over in the wind.
Stop harvesting asparagus and allow the fern-like foliage to grow.
Tap (gently strike) your tomato plants to encourage good pollination; water every day and start feeding them weekly once fruits set.
Thin out laden fruit trees after natural fruit drop to produce larger, better fruit. Clean up any fallen fruit.