Plant basil, rosemary, thyme, sage, savory, mint, coriander, parsley, or chives. You can plant seedlings or most herbs start well by seed. It’s not too late to start warm-season crops: corn, beans tomatoes, squash, peppers, eggplant. Plant or sow summer annuals such as salvia, nasturtiums, vinca, verbena, geraniums, phlox, marigolds, lobelia, impatiens, cosmos, sunflowers, zinnias, and alyssum. For fragrance in the garden, use perennials such as Sweet Woodruff (Asperula odorata, Zones 4-8), Lily of the-Valley (Convallaria majalis, Zones 2-7), and Lemon Lily (Hemerocallis liliosphodelus, Zones 5-9).
Patch, re-seed, or plant heat-loving lawns such as hybrid Bermuda or Fescue. Fertilize Bermuda, St. Augustine, and Zoysia lawns. Feed houseplants once a month, or apply fertilizer diluted to quarter strength every time you water. Protect sun sensitive house-plants from direct sunlight, so either move them to a cooler location, or cover your windows with a translucent curtain. Feed annual color and remove spent flowers to promote another round of flowers. Use a controlled-release fertilizer or hydrolyzed fish with sea-kelp to feed summer flowers and vegetables throughout the growing season. Feed citrus with a citrus-avocado food and water thoroughly. Feed roses after each bloom cycle, water regularly, and remove spent flowers. Water established trees and shrubs deeply and infrequently to help them get through the summer heat. Stake tall, floppy flowers: foxglove, yarrow, bachelor’s buttons, carnations, and delphiniums. Cut back perennials like Shasta daisy, black-eyed Susan, coneflower, and lavender after first bloom to encourage a second round of flowers in the fall. Cut back fuchsia, geranium, and margarite to encourage branching. Cover fruit trees and vines with plastic netting to protect ripening fruit from the birds. Clean up dead brush and debris to reduce fuel volume in fire-prone areas. Most herbs need no fertilizer and little water, so water only during prolonged dry spells. Avoid mulching herbs as mulch keeps the soil too moist. If fungus develops on your herbs during wet weather, cut them back to encourage healthy new growth.
The best time to harvest most herbs is just before flowering when the leaves contain the maximum essential oils. Cut herbs early in the morning on a sunny day. Hanging baskets exposed to the sun should be checked daily and watered if needed. Also, outdoor hanging containers should be sheltered from high winds. Leftover vegetable and flower seeds may be stored in a cool, dry location for planting next year. One a method is to place seed packets in a jar or plastic bag and store the containers in the refrigerator. Divide spring and early summer flowering perennials after the blooms fade. Instead of severing the clump in half, try jiggling the roots apart with two sharp, spading forks. This takes more time but damages fewer roots than cutting the clump apart. Remove crusted mineral salts from clay pots by soaking pots in water for several hours. Start with hot water and renew the hot bath several times. Scrub off heavy salt build-up with steel wool and dish detergent. Sterilize pots before reuse by soaking them for ten minutes in a solution of 9 parts water to 1 part household bleach. To reduce salt build-up on clay pots, wipe them weekly with a cloth soaked in
white vinegar. June is a great time to clean out the greenhouse. Discard dead or diseased plants and old potting soil. Good sanitation is necessary to control greenhouse pests. Take stem cuttings of woody shrubs, trees and perennials now. Collect seed of firepinks, poppy, wild indigo, and bleeding hearts. Fall bloomers that get too tall, such as chrysanthemum, can be cut back by about one half now to reduce their fall height. Spring-flowering shrubs, such as deutzia, weigela, viburnum and forsythia, should be pruned as soon as they complete bloom. Additional pruning may be required this month on fast-growing plants, such as juniper, privet and yew, to maintain a desirable shape during the growing season. Mulch promotes faster growth of trees and shrubs than grass or groundcovers. In three experiments across the country, researchers have shown that a number of different trees and shrubs including dogwood, forsythia, Burford holly, Japanese black pine and cottonwood had growth reduced significantly by both groundcovers and grasses growing up to the trunk.
Weed and Pest Control
Spray roses with insecticidal soap to eliminate aphids, mites and thrips. Control chewing worms like cabbageworm, corn earworm, and petunia budworm by spraying Bacillus thuringiensis. To prevent slugs and similar pests from entering the drainage holes of potted plants that have been set into the ground during summer, slip the pot into the toe of an old nylon stocking. This allows water to get through but keeps out pests. Birds will generally not be scared away by scarecrows. Instead, try tying pieces of glass, coloured cloth or tin to loose strings so the wind can blow them and clash them together. Random motion is the key to alarming the birds away from the garden. To protect bees that pollinate many of our crop plants, spray pesticides in the evening after bees have returned to their hives. Identify garden pests before you attempt to control them. Read any label carefully to be sure the treatment is compatible with the plant. Make sure you apply the proper amount at the proper time. Watch for and control black spot and powdery mildew on rose foliage.
All those jobs can be done by Sunny Gardens, just contact us for details of garden maintenance, landscaping and design.