05 Jun JUNE GARDEN HAPPENINGS
June is the great equalizer in the garden — no matter where you live, all thoughts of snowstorms and late freezes have passed, and warm (even hot) weather is here to stay for a bit. Garden chores are plentiful this month, and are consistent within similar growing zones. One thing to remember — garden during the cooler parts of the day, stay hydrated, and always use sun protection. Okay, are you ready to get going?
Zones 3-6: Plant all veggie crops, and sow seeds of carrots, beets, and beans. Harvest any early season crops, and remove any lingering cool-season crops that are past their prime. Thin seedlings to avoid future plant crowding, which can lead to poor plant health. Start broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage seedlings for fall planting, and divide and replant irises. Use bird netting to protect ripening strawberries from pesky birds and squirrels, and side-dress asparagus and rhubarb beds with a balanced fertilizer. Prune old canes from climbing roses, and fertilize all roses after flowers begin to fade. Keep your lawn mowed to a height of 2-3”.
Zones 7-8: As the weather heats up, your options for veggie plantings begin to dwindle, so check with your local extension office or trusted garden center for what is recommended to plant in your area. Plant summer annuals like cosmos, marigolds, vincas, and sunflowers, and remove faded or dead flowers on plants to encourage new growth. Keep an eye out for pests and diseases in the garden, particularly blossom end rot, spider mites, lace bugs, and gray leaf spot. Finish seeding warm weather grasses by the end of June, and establish and stick to a mowing schedule — grass grows more quickly when the temps heat up! Keep a 2-3” layer of mulch in planting beds to conserve soil moisture and suppress weeds.
Zones 9-11: You can still plant some heat-loving veggies like okra, lima beans and sweet potatoes, but do be sure to check with your local sources on the best times to plant during the summer. Harvest veggies as soon as they ripen for best flavor — likely harvest-ready crops include okra, cucumbers, beans, peas, and squash. Promptly remove any dead or diseased plant from anywhere in your garden. Plant heat-loving annuals like celosia, vinca, portulaca, and zinnia. Pinch back annual and perennial herbs to encourage bushiness, and lightly prune summer flowering shrubs like oleander, crape myrtle, and hibiscus. Remember to mow your warm-season grass at their recommended heights, and never remove more than 1/3 of overall height in any one mowing.