Is there a more perfect month to be outdoors in the garden than in June? Of course, the basics still apply–water consistently, apply fresh mulch, and stay ahead of weeds–but those now come with the promise of fresh flowers for cutting, berries for nibbling, pollinators to watch, and welcome privacy from leafy hedges and screen. Here’s how to make the most of the month.
Zone: 3 - 5
Do Now: Grab some pruners for a bit of do-now, benefit later work including:
Pinch terminal buds on rhododendrons for more flowers next year.
Prune spring flowering shrubs immediately after they flower (lilacs, for example)
Lightly prune boxwood after they show new growth to get a pleasing shape.
FINALLY, it’s time for some annuals. If you have not yet dolled up boxes and planters, head to a garden center ASAP while there’s still a good selection.
Tips to get the best from them? Add slow-release organic fertilizer when planting, then give them a weekly snack with a quarter-strength liquid fertilizer (such as organic manure tea or liquid kelp) every seven to ten days. And, ALWAYS water well first before adding liquid fertilizer.
Zone: 6 - 8
Pinch back fall bloomers: Do now for bushier plants come autumn. Candidates include Anemones, Joe Pye weed and asters. There’s still time to get fall bloomers into the ground, too.
And, depending on your zone, hydrangeas may have had their first flush of flowers. Be sure to deadhead spent blooms to encourage more blooms to come. Same for roses!
Home Grown Goodness: Many perennial herbs thrive when planted during the warmer months. If you’ve been wanted an herb garden for summertime recipes, get plants like oregano, rosemary, sage, thyme, catmint and lavender into pots or into the ground sooner than later. Tip: Watch watering as these plants tend to fret when their roots get soggy.
(<—–This is Blue Spires Rosemary which thrives in zones 6 – 10)
Zone: 9 - 11
Rosy Outlook: While the epic “first bloom” on roses is about done, the show can still go on. Side branches are now in bud and bloom and though the flowers are a bit smaller, it’s still roses! And, some pruning is in order. Old garden roses such as Cecile Brunner and ‘Lady Banks’ rose are once bloomers and need to be pruned right about now. Modern roses such as the Grace N’ Grit™ series bloom on new growth and can be pruned throughout the season.
Please Do Bug Me: Beneficial insects should be abundant in your garden now (especially if you planted a few flowers such as lavender, lantana, milkweed, and rosemary, just for them). Not seeing much good bug action? Ladybugs and Lacewings (can be purchased at most garden centers) can be released this month. Remember–the population of natural predators and parasites always follows behind that of the pest. Be patient!
This is insect season! The best way to keep ahead of infestation and damage to keep plants healthy and to try to stay ahead of problems. Consistent watering and applications of products like horticultural oils and soap sprays (only when necessary! If you’re not sure, consult with your local garden center) are where to start.
Pinch, pinch, pinch those annuals!