June Gardening Tips

“It is the month of June,
The month of leaves and roses,
When pleasant sights salute the eyes
And pleasant scents the noses.”
~Nathaniel Parker Willis, The Month of June

Here are a few June gardening tasks and projects that you can do to help keep your garden looking it’s best for the rest of this season.

Trees and Shrubs

  • Remove the wilting seedheads from Rhododendrons and Azaleas, so that the plants energy can go to foliage growth and next year’s flowers, rather than seeds.  Be careful not to damage next year’s buds which may be hidden just below the pod.
  • Pines and other conifers can be kept to a compact size by pinching off the new growth ‘candles’.
  • This is a good month for shearing, pinching or pruning Junipers, Cypress or Conifers. If you’ve been cultivating a special Christmas tree, sculpt it now.
  • It’s hedge trimming time!
  • Early flowering deciduous shrubs such as Forsythias and Magnolia should be pruned back when they have finished blooming.
  • Work lime in the soil around your Hydrangeas to produce pink flowers or Aluminum Sulphate for blue flowers on the Endless Summer varieties.
  • Lilacs should be pruned lightly after they finish blooming, removing sucker growths and dead blooms.. Feed lilacs in June with a good all purpose 10-10-10 fertilizer after they have finished blooming. If your soil has an acidic pH, work a little lime into the soil as well.
  • It’s still not too late to fertilize your trees and shrubs. Use a ‘Rhododendron’ or an ‘Evergreen’ type of plant food to feed evergreens and acid loving plants like Rhododendrons, Camellias, Azaleas, and Junipers, etc. Use an all-purpose garden fertilizer (10-10-10) to feed roses, deciduous shrubs and trees. Be sure to water the fertilizer in thoroughly after it is applied.
Sensation Lilac, $36.99

Annuals

  • Dahlias, Gladiolas, tuberous Begonias, Lilies and Cannas and other summer flowering bulbs can be planted this month. Gladiolas bulbs may be planted at 2 week increments until the first of July to provide you with cut flowers until the first frost.
  • Pinch back any annuals, Fuchsias, Geraniums, Cosmos or any other plants that might be getting a little leggy.
  • Deadhead your annuals to encourage more flowers.
Begonias

Perennials

  • Setting the stakes next to your taller flowers early in the season, will help to support the plant against winds as well as making it easier to ‘train’.
  • Stake tall flowers to keep them from blowing over in the wind. Add a stake to each planting hole as you’re transplanting, and tie the stem loosely to the stake as the plant grows.
  • Promptly remove spent flowers from any plant unless your intent is to harvest the seeds. It consumes the plants energy to produce the seeds, and in many species of plants removing the dead flowers will promote further blooms.
  • Pinch your Chrysanthemums and Fall Asters to encourage them to be bushier and have more blossoms.
  • This is an excellent month to pick out a few new perennials, and put them into the garden.
  • Once the soil has warmed, you may sow seeds for perennials directly into the garden, which will give you blooms next season.
Cheyenne Spirit Coneflower (Echinacea)

Bulbs

  • Break off wilting Tulip or Daffodil heads but continue to feed and care for the plants until the foliage has died back naturally. Old plantings of Daffodils may be divided and moved when they have finished blooming, but treat them as growing plants and use care to protect the foliage and roots. Water them thoroughly after transplanting. It is best not to dig or move other spring flowering bulbs until their foliage has ripened and died back.
  • Once the foliage of Daffodils has died back, you may divide and move the bulbs to a new spot. Daffodil clusters should be divided up every 3 years to ensure good blooming.

Roses

  • Keep a vigilant eye on the roses. Keep them sprayed for aphids and other pests and diseases such as black spot.
  • Roses will need to be fertilized each month through the summer.
  • Make sure your climbing roses are securely tied into position. Prune them after blooming.  Cut off spent flower down to the first set of 5 – leaflets to promote reblooming.

Fruits and Veggies

  • Thin out your carrots now to avoid over-crowding.
  • Push thin stakes into the ground near your tomatoes to support new growth. The same applies for peas that are now going to need a bit of support.
  • Onions should be starting to get bulbous at the base. This is a signal that all is well.
  • Carrots, lettuce, potatoes, corn, beans, peas and most popular vegetables (with the exception of the warmer weather crops) can be seeded or planted into the vegetable garden at any time now.
  • Wait until early June (listen to the weather reports) before planting the warmer weather crops like tomatoes, squash, cucumber, pumpkins and peppers.
  • With a little luck, you may begin to see the first fruit on your strawberries by late this month. The birds will enjoy them very much if you don’t provide some protective netting over them. Newly planted strawberries should have the blossoms picked off until they become well established.
  • Gourds may be planted at the same time as melons to take advantage of June sun and heat.
  • Continue thinning your vegetable seedlings to provide ample room for growth.
  • Allow one or two runners to develop from the most productive strawberry plants.

Lawns

  • This is the time to eliminate lawn weeds by hand pulling, or the application of a ‘weed and feed’ fertilizer…. before they go to seed!.
  • Setting your mower for a higher cut during the spring months will help the grass to grow in fuller and help choke out the weeds.
  • If your lawn suddenly looks yellow or dies out in patches, the cause is probably due to an insect problem such as Crane flies.
  • If the weather becomes hot and dry raise the cutting height of the mower.
  • It’s not too late to reseed or over-seed the lawn. Be certain to keep newly seeded areas well watered.
  • If there is moss growing in the lawn, remove as much as you can, add lime, rake it in, then topdress and seed, before it gets too hot.

Container Plants

  • Check to see if your house plants are rootbound. Water them thoroughly and carefully remove them from their pots. If the roots have compacted around the outside of the rootball, it is time to repot.
  • Carefully examine your houseplants for pests and problems. It is much easier to fight an insect infestation or disease in it’s early stages than to wait….
  • As the growth rate of your house plants increases with the seasons, adjust your feeding schedule to provide additional food. Feed your plants a good all purpose house plant food at half of the manufacturers recommended rates, increasing the proportion slightly to accommodate growth spurts. Overuse of fertilizers can cause root and foliage burn, as well as the death of the plant.
  • Mist your plants regularly. This adds to the humidity, keeps the leaves cleaner and healthier, and helps to prevent spider mites.
  • As the weather dries out, your container plants may need daily watering especially if the pots are exposed to the drying sunlight.
  • House plants can soon be moved outside to a shady, protected spot.
Shade Mixed Planter

Jobs

  • Even if we get a long dry spell, and slugs appear to have gone, after a little rain the slugs will be out to reap havoc. Use Safer’s Slug Bait to keep them under control.
  • The first flowers you’ll see will be your weeds. Work to eliminate the weeds (roots and all), before they have a chance to go to seed, or you will be fighting them for years to come!
  • If the weather refuses to cooperate with your gardening plans, and your seeds have refused to germinate due to cold and wet conditions, you may want to consider replanting a reserve crop (Just in case….)
  • The compost pile should be getting a lot of use these days, both in utilizing this prime garden resource, and adding fresh garden refuse to it. The compost pile should be kept damp. Frequent turning will turn your garden waste into flower food much faster.
  • At exactly 12:00 Noon, on June 15th, set your sundial for 12:00 to get the most accurate time reading throughout the summer.
  • Change the water in your bird bath regularly. Standing water may become a breeding ground for mosquito larvae.
  • Continue to watch for insect or disease damage throughout the garden, and take the necessary steps to control the problem.
  • Inhale the scent of roses, admire your successful colour combinations and keep making notes for next year.