June is the month when your garden really gets established and takes off. The University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture suggests you take the following steps to make the most of your June garden.
- Perennials, Annuals, & Bulbs
- Don't forget to water newly planted plants. It can still be critical. Also, as temperatures increase and plants mature, keep a close eye on watering containerized plants. If any of the foliage of your annuals or newly planted perennials looks pale or yellow, and you have watered adequately, consider giving them a boost with a fertilizer labeled for flowers.
- Caladiums are heavy feeders so make sure you fertilize them regularly.
- Japanese beetles can be a problem this month. Look for them on hibiscus and roses.
- Many perennials will keep flowering if cut back after their first bloom period. Such plants include garden phlox, heliopsis, veronica, echinacea, and platycodon.
- Don't forget to stake tall-growing perennials such as goldenrod, boltonia, rudbeckia, tansy, helianthus, and Joe_pye weed to prevent them from lodging once in bloom. They may not look like they need it now, but a hard rain or high wind will bend them over when they are in bloom.
- You can still direct-seed sunflowers in your garden. Stagger their planting by every week or two through July, and you will have flowers until frost.
- Fall-flowering plants such as asters, mums, goldenrod, sedum, and Joe-pye weed can be cut back to make them shorter and stockier when they bloom. Cut their current growth three_quarters of the way back this month to have them looking great and in bloom this fall.
- Deadheading is a must this month. Many annuals and perennials need to be deadheaded to keep plants looking good and blooming all season. Such plants include geraniums, certain petunias, marigolds, salvia, and roses.
- Bearded iris should be divided soon after flowering. By dividing now, the plants have time to get established, increasing the chance of flowers next year.
- Shrubs & Trees
- Keep newly planted trees and shrubs well watered during periods of drought.
- Azaleas, pieris, mountain laurel and other ericaceous (acid_loving) species need to be fertilized one more time before August 15 using an acid-based soluble fertilizer containing iron.
- Spray monthly against sap-feeding lacebugs. Target the underside of leaves with an appropriate insecticide, insecticidal soap or a summer oil. Be sure to follow label directions.
- Watch for fall web-worms with their webbing at the ends of branches. Prune out the webs that can be reached. Various insecticides are available if chemical control is desired.
- Fruits & Veggies
- Traditional strawberries go semi-dormant after harvest, and this is an ideal time to fertilize them with a complete fertilizer.
- Continue to spray a multi-purpose fruit tree spray consisting of an insecticide and fungicide to prevent any insect and disease problems. Spray until 10 days before harvest.
- Remove all root suckers at the base of all fruit trees, particularly apple and pear, and all thick water sprouts shooting up straight on the branches. Also remove any diseased, dying or insect riddled wood.
- Keep tomatoes pruned and staked or in cages.
- Prevent blossom-end rot of tomato by providing deep and regular watering with drip irrigation or soaker hoses in addition to mulching for water conservation. Fertilizing with calcium nitrate rather than agricultural grade 10_10_10 fertilizer also helps. Varieties resistant to blossom-end
- rot include 'Celebrity', 'Goliath' and 'Mountain Pride'.
- Harvest cucumbers, green beans and summer squash when they are ready. If you stop picking, production will halt.
- Lawn Care
- June is an ideal month to seed, sod or plant plugs of Bermuda grass or other warm-season grasses like zoysia.
- Fertilize and dethatch warm-season lawns.