June Tips


  • What To Fertilize:
    Fertilize or sidedress your vegetables. To keep rose blossoms coming, feed hybrid teas with 2 tablespoons of 5-10-10, 7-11-9, or similar rose food per plant.


  • What To Plant:
    Start plants of Brussel sprouts and collards for transplanting into the garden in mid-July.  Plant the following vegetables in your garden in June: beans, lima beans, southern peas, pepper, sweet potato, pumpkin, and tomato. In the vegetable garden it is best to sacrifice a few overcrowded seedlings so your plants will have room to grow. As soon as you pull out the spring vegetables, turn the soil and plant seeds of summer crops such as beans, squash, cucumbers, as well as transplants of tomatoes and peppers.


  • What To Prune:
    Late June is the recommended time to prune white pine. Trim new growth only. Prune narrowleaf evergreens like juniper and arborvitae late this month. Prune the bigleaf or florist hydrangea and weigela when the flowers fade. Trim hedges as needed. Remove water spouts on any fruit trees and crabapple. Cut off the faded flowers of phlox, shasta daisy, and daylily to encourage a second flowering. Trim dried up foliage of your spring flowering bulbs. Prune off dieback on hybrid rhododendron. Deadhead or remove faded flowers of hybrid rhododendron and mountain laurel. Pinch your chrysanthemums to encourage branching.
  • Pest Outlook:
    Check the following landscape shrubs for the following insect pests: arborvitae, juniper and leyland cypress-bag worms, boxwood-leaf miner, crape myrtle - aphid, dogwood - borer, hemlock - spider mites, and pyracantha-lace bug. Spray for Japanese beetles as needed. Continue with weekly rose spray program. Spray red-tip photinia for leaf spot if observed. Keep spraying your tree fruits and bunch grapes with a pest control program. Spray the following vegetables if insects are observed: asparagus-beetle, cucumber- cucumber beetle, squash borer and aphids, tomato and eggplant - flea beetle, broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower - for worms. Watch for dark brown spots on your tomato leaves. If observed, spray with a fungicide for early blight. Spray herbicides on the following woody weeds: poison ivy, greenbriar, honeysuckle, and kudzu.


  • Lawncare:
    Start any warm season lawns like zoysia, Bermudagrass, and centipede grass in June. Continue fertilizing your warm season grasses like Bermudagrass and zoysia. Fertilize centipedegrass the one and only time this month. Do NOT fertilize tall fescue now! Get rid of broadleaved weeds such as ground ivy, plantains, and dandelions by spot spraying with 24-D. Read the label carefully to be certain it is recommended for your type of lawn.


  • Propagation:
    Late June is the ideal time to take semihard cuttings of azalea, cotoneaster, camellia, holly, pieris, red-tip photinia, and rhododendron.


  • Specific Chores:
    Build a coldframe for rooting your shrub cuttings. Renovate your strawberry bed after the berry harvest is completed. Potted plants will need frequent watering which also means you need to fertilize often. Feed established container plants and hanging baskets weekly with fertilizer such as 20-20-20. To feed less often, sprinkle slow-release fertilizer pellets on the surface of the soil.

     Apply organic mulches as the soil warms. These will conserve moisture, discourage weeds, and enrich the soil as they decay.

    Most houseplants brought outside prefer a bright spot shaded from afternoon sun. Check soil moisture daily during hot weather.

    When using any gas powered equipment, be sure to allow the engine a few minutes to cool before refilling empty fuel tanks.


    Try Something Different
    For a really bold look in the garden this summer.....consider planting Ricinus communis, commonly known as Caster-Bean. Yes, this is the plant that gets 15' tall and has a spread of 15-20', and has large palmately lobed leaves to the size of 3' across. And yes, every part of the plant is poisonous to humans, cattle, sheep, pigs and chickens. So why plant this monster in the landscape? It has great foliage, form and color and an overall shape like nothing else in the garden. It'll be quite a topic of conversation also....just don't put it in a salad! They do germinate from seed quite easily so you still have time to plant a few.

    Several cultivars are available:

    "Borboniensis arboreus" - Red stems and glaucous stems
    "Cambodgensis" - Dark foliage and stem color
    "Sanguineus" - Red foliage
    "Gibsonii" - Dwarf form

    Summer brings many stinging insects into our yards. These can be a menace especially to those people who are allergic to their stings.

    Bumble bees are 1/2 to 1 inch long with black and yellow or black and orange body markings. These insects are not usually aggressive but will sting if their nest or nest entrance is disturbed. Nests are often built underground. Colonies are annual and only young fertilized queens overwinter. Nest inhabitants are killed by the autumn frosts.

    Some wasps make nests out of mud or clay, while others make a circular paper-like nest with exposed nest cells that look like a honeycomb. Only fertilized queens hibernate over the winter in a protected area.

    Yellow jackets are small yellow and black insects with a wasp-like waist who nest underground, under stones and in walls. These social insects continue to increase the size of their nest throughout the summer. They can be a real menace in picnic areas in late summer. Autumn frosts kill off the inhabitants, only the queens hibernate during the winter.

    Hornets are closely related to yellow jackets. They are large insects with black and white markings, their large gray football shaped paper-like nests can be seen in bushes and trees. Autumn frosts will kill off nest inhabitants. Only the queen hibernates over the winter. These insects are sensitive to vibrations and will sting when the nest is disturbed. Fruit attracts them; keep all fruit picked up off the ground. Hornets can give a very nasty sting.

    Effective control depends on species and nest location. If the nest is in the ground apply a dust formulation to the nest entrance. If the nest is in a tree, shrub or other above ground area apply a hornet-wasp aerosol spray that reaches 8 to 10 feet. All pesticides should be applied at night when insects are least active. Be sure you are fully covered and protected from stings when you apply.

    Let those clippings lay! If you are bagging grass clippings, you may want to reconsider this practice. Here's why.

    (1) Grass clippings contain lots of nitrogen. You may reduce the amount of fertilizer that you apply if grass clippings are returned to the soil.

    (2) Grass clippings do not contribute to thatch build up. Grass clippings decompose quickly if the soil pH is between 6.0 and 7.0.

    (3) The key to grass cycling is to mow no more than 1/3 of the turf leaf blades in any one mowing. (ex. when lawn reaches 3" cut to 2"). This practice may require more frequent mowing but eliminates the grass clipping disposal problem and is healthier for the turf.

    (4) Of course, if the mowing operation results in piles of clippings they must be raked up. Use them as mulch around trees and shrubs or compost them.

    So, keep your mower blades sharp, cut no lower than 1.5 inches, mow a little more frequently and you too will be into grasscycling.






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