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What To Do In Your Vegetable Garden This June (Early Summer)
What to Plant in June
- Try to finish all early-season planting of trees, shrubs, and perennials by mid-June, if possible.
- Transplanting and dividing can continue, but plants may need to be shaded to reduce transplant shock.
- Sow seeds of biennials, such as hollyhock, directly into the garden this month for next year’s bloom. Mark the area carefully to avoid accidentally disturbing the seeds.
June Garden Maintenance Chores
- Keep new plantings well-watered.
- To minimize diseases, water with overhead irrigation early enough in the day to allow the foliage to dry before nightfall.
- Weed! Control weeds when they’re young. They’re easier to pull when they’re young.
- Prune or thin plants to keep them from taking over their neighbors. This applies to all plants, but especially newly transplanted perennials.
- Mulch around perennials. Be sure to leave 2 to 3 inches around the base of the plant free of mulch to prevent rotting.
- Watch plants for early signs of disease or infestation. Look for misshapen leaves, spots, webbing or yellowing of leaves.
- Deter diseases from spreading by removing infected parts or entire plants; spray or dust with fungicide, if necessary.
- Fertilize trees and shrubs that need fertilizer before July 4th.
- Take softwood cuttings from trees and shrubs as their spring growth begins to mature.
- Finish pruning spring flowering trees and shrubs by the end of the month.
- Apply a second spray for borer control on hardwood trees.
- Evergreens, such as boxwood or yew, can be lightly pruned after the new growth fills in to maintain a formal shape.
- Tie annual and perennial vines to supports.
- Mite activity often increases in hot, dry weather. Symptoms include stippled foliage which can be removed from the plant. Refrain from applying chemical miticides which will also kill beneficial mites and increase mite populations.
- Monitor plants, especially the succulent new growth, for insects. Identify garden pests before you attempt to control them. Don’t apply chemical treatments if ladybugs or other predator insects are present.
- Heavy rains encourage slug problems. Check for slugs during rainy periods, and handpick the pests.
- Add to, aerate, and water your compost pile to speed decomposition.
Lawn Care Schedule for June
- Lawns maintained at the correct height are less likely to have disease and weed infestation. Kentucky bluegrass and tall fescue should be mowed at two or three inches in height. Mow frequently, removing no more than one-third of the blades at a time.
- Change the way you water your lawn. Let the condition your grass and soil be your guide to irrigation, not the cycle on your watering system or the number of days since the last watering. Use a screwdriver to probe the soil. If the probe is moist when pulled from the soil or if it’s easy to push to a depth of three to four inches, the lawn probably doesn’t need watering.
- Established turf requires approximately 1 inch of water per week to keep grass green and actively growing. Watering early in the morning will decrease the chances of developing a turf disease.
- If left un-watered, cool-season lawns will turn brown and become dormant during extended hot, dry spells, but will green up again when conditions are more favorable.
- Monitor your lawn for damaging turfgrass insects. In areas previously damaged, consider a preventative (systemic) insecticide.
- Apply a second application of pre-emergent herbicides in late May to early June to control annual weeds in the lawn (crabgrass, spurge, etc.)
- Do not fertilize your lawn in hot weather. The best time to fertilize is fall.
- Seed bare areas of turf with an appropriate grass seed mixture. Keep newly seeded lawns moist until seeds germinate. Do not allow the grass to become overly dry for the first year and limit excessive foot traffic.
- Use wood chips or bark mulch around all trees planted in lawns to protect them from lawn mower and weed eater damage. But no volcano mulching! (meaning don’t pile thick mulch up against trunks). A depth of two to three inches is plenty, starting several inches or so away from the trunk.
Garden Planning and Journaling in June
- Order spring-blooming bulbs for fall planting.
- Start a gardening notebook. Pay special attention to those plants that withstand drought conditions and do well in your garden’s microclimate.
- Start noting how much you’re harvesting from your vegetable garden. Use those notes to decide which varieties to grow again next year.
- Inventory your seeds for your fall vegetable garden.
- Celebrate the summer solstice this month by taking photos of your garden. Track the sunlight and seasons with Journey North.
- Assess areas of your garden that may need new or replacement plantings.
- Prepare a landscape plan for fall planting of trees and shrubs.
- Continue to take garden notes to plan future plantings.
- June is a peak month for perennial borders. Don’t forget to take some photos for your journal!
Wildlife in Your June Garden
- Control insects by handpicking and encouraging beneficial insects or birds to visit your yard.
- Continue to apply deer and rabbit repellents. Re-apply after it rains.
- Plant dill or fennel to attract swallowtail butterflies to lay their eggs. Watch for tiny eggs to develop into plump caterpillars that will feed on the herb foliage before pupating into butterflies.
- Bats are effective at controlling insects. One big brown bat can eat 3,000 to 7,000 flying insects each night. Attract bats by building and placing bat houses in your yard.
- Keep your hummingbird and oriole feeders clean and filled with fresh food. Sugar water goes bad quickly in hot weather! Plan to change the food every 2-3 days – sooner if the feeder is in the direct sun.
- Record hummingbird activity and sightings.
- Report monarch butterfly sightings to Journey North.
- Report insect pests to The Big Bug Hunt. They’re creating a predictive system that will send you alerts when pests are headed your way.
June Houseplant Care
- When night temperatures stay above 50 degrees, bring houseplants outdoors for the summer. Most houseplants brought outside prefer a bright spot shaded from afternoon sun. Indoor plants moved outside for the summer are very susceptible to scorch and sunburn. Acclimate your plants gradually to avoid setting them back.
- Indoor plants will require more frequent watering and fertilizing as they increase their summer growth. Fertilize monthly.
- Root cuttings of houseplants and garden plants to increase your collection or share with a friend.