June 2nd, 2012
June is one of the busiest months in the garden. Whether you have a large garden or a few colorful containers, there’s always something to do. Follow these top tips for gardening in June to keep your garden growing all summer.
Avoid overhead watering. The summer heat and sun makes plants thirsty—especially if you recently planted them in your garden. Whenever possible, avoid overhead watering to reduce humidity and leaf wetness. Directly water roots at the base of the plant to reduce the risk of fungal disease, and use mulch to hold in the moisture.
Cut back shrubby perennials such as catmint, dianthus, and veronica when they finish blooming. This will tidy them up and encourage a second flush of flowers.
Snip off dead blossoms as your peony blooms fade. This makes the plant more attractive, and allows it to send energy to the leaves and roots instead of toward seed production. Keep plants well-watered through the summer.
Plant dahlias in fertile, well-drained soil that gets at least six hours of sun a day. They’ll do fine in clay soil if you work in a 2- to 4-inch layer of well-rotted manure or compost a few weeks before planting.
Water newly planted trees. Place a hose at the base of the tree at a slow trickle. Water regularly for two to three years until the tree’s root system is established.
Protect your vegetable garden from rabbits. Purchase chicken-wire fencing with 1 inch or smaller mesh. Wire should be at least 3 feet tall. Bend back 6 inches of fencing and bury below the soil to keep rabbits from crawling underneath the fence.
Harvest strawberries frequently and remove berries that show signs of gray mold or fruit-rotting diseases. These inedible berries quickly spread diseases to other ripening fruits. Mulch under plants with straw to reduce contact with the ground.
Snip off faded blossoms of annual and perennial flowers. Pinch back stems to keep plants compact and healthy.
Fertilize roses throughout the growing season. Use a specially marked rose fertilizer (available at nurseries and garden centers) and follow package instructions.