We are heading into prime garden season in June and July, when it's important to keep up on maintaining flower, vegetable and herb gardens. A week or two of neglect can make all the difference in a garden. Below are some reminders and tips for the month of June.
-It's time to start deadheading. I know this is a dreaded chore for many gardeners, but make it part of your routine as you take morning or evening walks. Pinch off the finished blooms of annuals and perennials as you walk around your flower beds. It makes a huge difference!
-Weeds never take a rest, especially this time of year. The best time to weed is after a rain, but like with deadheading, make it a routine and it won't get out of control.
-Shrubs that have bloomed already such as spirea, viburnum, lilac and forsythia can now be pruned now, and should be done as soon as possible.
-Blossom-end rot on tomatoes, peppers, squash and watermelons is often a problem this time of year. It's important to keep the soil watered on a regular basis- not letting it become too dry or too wet. It's always better to water on a schedule for a longer period of time rather than a quick watering that doesn't go deep enough. Also, avoid working up the soil near the plants. Weed by hand, and carefully.
-Rhubarb can be harvested through June, but watch for flower stalks as they appear, snipping them off the plant.
-Peonies should be trimmed of the dead blooms when they are finished. Leave the foliage alone, only cutting out the flower stems and dead flowers.
-Cutworms can ruin seedlings and transplants very quickly. You can protect melons, tomatoes and cucumbers by placing a cardboard collar around the base of the plant. Use the rolls from toilet paper or paper towel when empty for an inexpensive solution. Cut the roll so it's stuck into the soil 1-2 inches and 2-3 inches above the soil. Cut the roll on one side lengthwise, then slip it around the stem of the plants.
JUNE PLANTING & SOWING
-June is the month to plant dahlias, gladiola and canna bulbs. All three need a fertile, well drained soil in a location with full sun.
-Sow seeds for cucumbers, pumpkins, squash, zinnia, morning glory and basil. If you are in Zone 3-5 you may have been waiting until it was frost free, and we should be safe at this point.
On OFL we have instructions for a self fertilizing container garden:
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