June Garden Guide
IT’S TIME TO PRUNE BLOOMS AND CONTROL PESTS!
It’s time to prune some of your spring flowering shrubs, this needs to be done shortly after bloom because these plants form flower buds for next year during this summer. Lilacs can be cut back by about one third to reduce height, or thinned by removing older stems; forsythias should have about a quarter to a third of old (thick stems) wood removed down near the base; azaleas do best with a light trim, and rhodies can take pretty much whatever you want to do. If you cut a rhododendron down by more than half it may not flower the next year, but it will definitely reduce and re-shape the plant. I don’t recommend doing this to your rhododendron, but sometimes drastic action has to be taken when one has gotten out of control or you’re going to paint the house, etc.
For garden flower power Watson’s still has lots of annuals, for both sun and shade conditions, that will bloom until frost and the summer perennials are coming on strong. For a long blooming perennial, look to Gaura, Echinacea (coneflower, many colors), or Rudbeckia (black-eyed Susan). If you didn’t plant your dahlias in April or May, you could still start them from tubers, the bloom will be quite late (August), but don’t worry; Watson’s carries an assortment of already blooming dahlias. It is not too late to plant gladiola bulbs; they bloom about 60 days after you put them in the ground.
In your vegetable garden, look closely for aphids, they love fresh new leaves; use neem oil to control them. Also, watch for small green caterpillars that eat holes in leaves on any member of the cabbage family, which includes broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, mustards, collards and cauliflower. Use Captain Jack’s Deadbug or Bt, both organic substances that work on caterpillars. And because we expect so much production from our vegetables, we need to offer them all the support possible – fertilize every 4 to 6 weeks with an organic vegetable fertilizer and put out those soaker hoses!
Roses should be coming along nicely now, be vigilant for aphids there. If you didn’t cut your flowers to take indoors and enjoy, deadhead the plant when the flowers fade to encourage re-blooming and make the shrub look nice. Don’t cut off just the flower; follow the stem down and cut right above a leaf that has at least 6 little leaflets on it. This ensures that the new flowering branch that will grow out from that junction of leaf and stem is of large enough size to support a nice flower.
There’s plenty of work to do in the garden, weeding, dead heading, watching for pests, thinning vegetables, harvesting fruits and veg and of course, watering…don’t forget to sit down once in a while and just enjoy the beauty.
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