07 Jun JUNE GARDEN GOAL DIGGER
June is that first month in the garden where, no matter where you live, you’re in full-on garden mode. While the warmer climates may have had a head start on garden chores, the cooler climates have now caught up. From planting, watering, weeding, and even harvesting,
June keeps a gardener busy. The only problem is, the bugs and pests are also busy — they love a thriving garden as much as you do! So let’s stay on top of them, shall we?
Garden Season Prep Goals
- It’s never too early to begin planning for your fall garden — I like to stay a season ahead so I’m not caught off guard when the time comes. Plan your plantings, organize your seed or bulb orders, and start drawing out that new bed.
- Take an inventory of your garden supplies now — trust me, you don’t want to have an invasion of pests only to realize at the last minute that you’re out of Bt.
- Plan to rise earlier to get necessary garden chores done — it’s cooler and less humid, and will be much more comfortable and safe for you.
Garden Chore Goals
- Pesky bugs are in full swing right now. Take daily walks through your garden to determine if any pest is brewing — they can do incredible damage overnight, so the sooner you spot those aphids or squash borers, the better.
- Remember to ID any bug or suspected pest before treating — organic gardeners know that not all bugs are bad! And if the bad bug is large enough, consider hand-picking it off or giving it a quick water spray to dislodge it before resorting to any treatment.
- Prune spring-flowering shrubs and trees (if necessary) after they have completed blooming, and lightly trim up any evergreen shrubs after the new bright green growth turns darker.
- Keep any dead tree limbs pruned — it’s the start of hurricane season, and you do not want those heavy limbs falling on your house or garden.
- Speaking of trees – look up and be on the watch for bagworms that can defoliate a tree in no time flat. Attract natural predators like parasitic wasps, or treat with a product that contains BTK (Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki)
- Now’s the time to get those summer veggies in the ground! If you live in hotter climates (USDA Zones 7-11), choose varieties that are heat tolerant.
- Protect any ripening berries with netting – and be on the lookout for fallen fruit from trees — clean it up quickly to avoid attracting critters.
- Remove any cool season plant that has bolted — leaving those old plants in your garden is an invitation for pests and disease that easily spreads to new plantings.
- Got farm/urban farm animals like goats or chickens? If you’re cleaning up your cool season garden now, let them in for a day or so to clean it all up for you.
- Keep succession planting your summer greens – like warm-season spinach or chard for continual harvest.
- Stay on top of harvesting to ensure optimal flavor and texture.
- Water your garden regularly — both edibles and ornamentals. Spring rains may be lessening, and your garden depends upon you for consistent irrigation in order to flower and fruit the best it can.
- Stake tomato plants when they’re young and prune off the suckers at the bottom.
- Start pinching back those fall bloomers – like monarda and asters — it’ll keep their shape more attractive when the time comes for them to shine.
- Water new plants consistently to get them established – and remember that deeper but less frequent watering is better for those plantings that are humming right along. No sprinkling allowed — you’ll simply leave your plants gasping for a drink.
Garden Chill Goals
- What’s the summer for if not for lounging a bit? Put that hammock back up, grab a cold drink, and do absolutely nothing but take in the sounds of your garden.
- Rise early and enjoy your outdoor space in solitude. The days heat up much earlier now, so get outside before it’s sweltering and take your chill activity to the garden. Stretching, yoga, tai chi, meditation — whatever gets your zen on, it’s even better in nature.
- Read up on how to use the herbs you’re growing for relaxing and refreshing summer teas — from lavender to lemon balm, herbs make ideal additions to your summer tea recipes.