What to do Now

June Gardening Tips

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Houseplants and Outdoor Tropicals
Houseplants placed outside for the summer will require diligent watering. If you will be away from home on vacation you can partially burry the pots in the ground to help them stay moist. Air conditioning tends to dry the air inside the home – mist plants daily or place on humidity trays. Continue to fertilize your houseplants following label instructions. Continue to fertilize outdoor tropicals with a combination of Osmocote and Superbloom. Remember to leave them in their original nursery pot for best flowering.

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Vegetables and small fruits
Make successive plantings of green beans and beets every two weeks through august. This will give you more manageable yields and extend the harvest. Use straw as a mulch around your strawberries and place some underneath your melons and squash as they mature to prevent rot. Do not allow vegetable plants to become over mature – promptly harvest when they are young and tender this will extend your harvest.
Harvest vegetables and herbs in the morning- this ensures best flavor and texture. Harvest broccoli before it starts to flower. Cut out the central cluster and leave the side clusters for future harvest. Continue cutting asparagus through mid month - after this allow the foliage to mature for the rest of the season. Protect small fruits with bird netting just as they begin to ripen to deter birds and squirrels. Pick strawberries when they are completely red, leave the cap on for best keeping. Pick blackberries every 2 or three days for a better yield. Continue to monitor for pests and disease and use organic controls.

Fruit Trees
Harvest early ripening stone fruits. Continue an organic spay program on fruit trees until harvest. Remove any dead branches that did not leaf out. Mark any branches that suffered fire blight so they can be pruned out in winter to prevent problems next year.

Lawn Care
Complete laying sod early in the month – it is difficult to establish turf in the hottest months of the year. Begin watering your lawn if we are not receiving sufficient rain. Lawns will remain green in summer if they receive 1 inch of rain per week. You can measure this with a rain gauge. You will want to water deeply and infrequently approximately once a week if we get no rain. An oscillating sprinkler left running for 1 hour will provide about 1 inch of rain. It is best to water in the morning. Do not fertilize your lawn in summer – compost tea is a great tonic for lawns this time of year.

Continue to plant annuals use Espoma Bio-tone if planted in the ground. Continue to fertilize potted plants and hanging baskets with Superbloom weekly. Containerized plants will need more water as they grow larger often daily or twice daily. Place hanging baskets on the ground in the shade if you will be away on vacation. Use water a holding gel like DriWater in your containers this product is safe for edibles.

Continue to plant perennials. Use Espoma Bio-tone for best results. Dead head spent flowers to extend blooming. Continue to stake tall plants and pull weeds. Lightly cut back candytuft, moss phlox, and arabis now to keep them vigorous they can also be divided at this time. Continue to monitor for pests and disease.

Trees and Shrubs
Continue to plant containerized trees and shrubs. Balled and burlapped plants can still be planted if they were dug earlier in the season or if they have been treated to allow summer digging. Use Espoma Bio-tone for best results. Water any newly planted tree or shrub every 7 to 10 days deeply and thoroughly. Larger trees require approximately 25 gallons of water per week for best establishment this time of year. Plants on slopes or in fast draining soils may require more frequent watering. Continue to monitor for pests and disease.
Deadhead rhododendrons, azaleas, mountain laurel, tree peonies and Japanese pieris to keep them compact and healthy. They will also flower much better next spring. Continue to monitor for lacebug. You can continue to prune needled evergreens this month. Spruce and pines can be kept more compact by candle pruning always leave 1 inch of the candle intact when you remove the tip.

Prune climbing roses now by removing all 3 year old canes at ground level. They can be lightly pruned again in fall if needed. Continue to apply Espoma Rose-tone and water on a regular schedule for best flowering. Roses enjoy 1 inch of rain each week. Use a rain gauge to determine the amount of rain you are receiving. On individual plants that is approximately 2 gallons per week. Roses will flower best in cooler temperatures - in summer the flowers will be smaller as well.

Water Gardening
Keep your pond free of algae naturally by using a combination of Barley Straw Pellets and Microbe-Lift. Thin out water hyacinths if they are completely covering the surface. Fertilize with an aquatic fertilizer. Continue to plant tropical aquatics this month.