Garden To Do List June

Allen working in the garden.It is the month of June,
The month of leaves and roses,
When pleasant sights salute the eyes,
And pleasant scents the noses.

“The Month of June”
Nathaniel Parker Willis (1806 – 1867)

I probably say this about every month, but I believe that June is the best month of the year.  The frantic tempo of spring has passed, but the oppressive summer heat has yet to set in.  It is truly a month of leisure.  Well, almost.  There is a lot to do in the garden, but at least it can be done at a slow pace.

  • Get those warm season vegetables planted! Young starts of tomatoes, peppers, corn, eggplant, cucumber and squash can be planted now that all danger of frost has passed. This should be done without delay, especially if you live in a region where summer is short.
  • Deadhead lilacs after the blooms fade. This prevents seeds from developing and directs energy towards next year's blooms. Cut the stems back to a set of leaves.
  • Keep newly planted trees and shrubs consistently moist. This is especially true as we head into the dry summer months. To make this task easier, use water bags around the trunks.
  • Check your roses for pests and diseases. Blackspot, powdery mildew and aphids usually start appearing in June. As soon as a problem is detected, treat it with an earth friendly spray such as Garden Safe's Fungicide 3-in-1, which tackles disease, mites and insects. It may be necessary to maintain a regular spraying schedule over the course of the summer.
  • Add plants to your water feature. Cannas, calla lilies and yellow flag iris can be potted up in 1 gallon plastic nursery containers. Then submerge the pots in the water feature so the water line falls just below the top of the containers for interesting foliage and blooms during summer. You can remove the pots in fall during your end of season clean up.
  • Plant a bed of catnip to draw neighborhood cats away from other areas of the garden. It’s a favorite with bees as well.
  • A daylily that blooms at night? You bet! Plant Hemerocallis citrina or citron lily for its sweetly fragrant, lemon yellow flowers that stay open all night. The moon catching color and heady perfume make this plant ideal for the evening garden.
  • Feed camellias with a fertilizer specially blended for camellias and azaleas. Follow the directions on the package.
  • Dig, divide and replant lycoris bulbs after the foliage turns yellow.
  • About every 3 years, tall bearded irises benefit from being divided. Flowering dramatically declines when the clump becomes crowded. After blooming, the irises become semi-dormant, so that is the best time to replant them. Here
    is a trick I learned from an iris breeder. To help remember the color of the bloom, use a permanent felt tip marker and write the name and color on one of the leaves.
  • If your spring blooming perennials are starting to look a little worse for wear, cut them back to encourage new healthy growth. It’s safe to do this until mid-July.
  • When pruning hedges, shear the sides on a slight bevel so that the bottom sticks out a little further than the top. If the top of the hedge grows out too much, it will shade the bottom branches and they become thin and leggy. When pruning the top, create a cutting guide by anchoring poles at each end of the hedge and stringing a level line in between, then just prune along the line for a clean, finished look.
  • Vining plants often put on lots of new growth in short periods of time. One way to tame the tangle is to use dental floss to tie vines to their supports. The floss is easy to carry around by just sticking it in your pocket, needs no scissors to cut it, and if you use the green, mint-flavored type, it almost disappears next to the vine’s stem.
  • Sow seeds for biennials such as hollyhock, sweet Williams, campanula and foxglove for blooms next year.
  • Cut lavender blooms in early morning before the sun burns off the aromatic oils. After the flowering stops you can lightly prune the plant to keep it in shape.

Signature Plants:

Purple Coneflower
Purple Coneflower
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