June is a lovely month for gardening. By now, your vegetable garden is probably planted (it is, right?) and you are starting to see those plants take hold and start to thrive. We’ve already harvested rhubarb, have teeny raspberries starting to fill out and even green tomatoes on the tomato plants. As you can see, the lilies are in bloom, and the gaillardia is starting to take off. It’s one plant I enjoy seeing spread like crazy.
The kids and I are focused on keeping the weeds under control on our acre. It’s going well, as long as we can get up and out of the house by 6 or 7 am. Otherwise, it’s just too hot.
June vegetable gardening tasks include
*Keep the garden weeded.If you can keep up right now, by August, the plants you want to grow will over-shadow those pesky weeds – but if you neglect it now, the weeds just might win.
*Build your vertical growing supports if you haven’t done so yet. Get them into the garden before the end of the month and watch those plants grow UP – even pumpkins. (Yes, we’ve done it!)
*Water carefully – soils that are exposed to the sun and wind dry out quickly. Use mulches, raised beds, drip systems or other methods to conserve overall water usage get it to the plant roots where it’s needed. Some vegetables will not turn out well without the right amount of water at the right times, like corn, onions and melons.
*Remember the one-inch rule. If you dig out an inch or two of dirt and find no moisture, it’s time to water deeply. Vegetable roots reach deeper than the roots of your grass, therefore they can and should go longer between waterings. Over-watering makes your garden more susceptible to disease and bugs.
June tasks for your other plants:
*Prune and shape your spring-blooming shrubs as soon as they are finished. Lilacs and others set next year’s blooms right away, so don’t delay. If it’s been a while since you pruned your lilac bush, remember the rule of thirds – prune one-third this year, one-third next year and one-third the year after that.
*Continue planning and planting your annuals for a wide variety of color and visual appeal through summer and into the fall. Use variety in color, size and shape for the most visual appeal.
*Dead-head your annuals as the blooms fade.
*Stake or cage your tall perennials.
*Sow next year’s perennials such as columbine, coreopsis and dianthus.
*Set out your tender tubers/corms of dahlias, gladioli and other similar ones
*Compost your spent flowers
*Plant some heat-tolerant, drought-tolerant groundcover. They look nice, they keep the weeds down, can help prevent erosion on a slope and more. All varieties need plenty of water the first couple of years as they get established. We have mini-dianthus and Elfin thyme on a slope in our front yard – they are doing great.
*Water your lawn deeply, but less frequently for the healthiest lawn possible.
*Thin fruits on apple, pear, peach, and apricot trees carefully to produce larger, better fruit. Apples and pears should have 6-10 inches between fruits, peaches about 6 inches and apricots about 3 inches.