“What is one to say about June, the time of perfect young summer, the fulfillment of the promise of the earlier months, and with as yet no sign to remind one that its fresh young beauty will ever fade.”
– Gertrude Jekyll, On Gardening
June 21 is the longest day of the year, and the extra light and warmth encourages the garden to put on an exuberant burst of growth. But this extra light and warmth also means weeds will sprout up from seemingly nowhere. Keep on top of them by weeding regularly.
Herbaceous borders are reaching their early summer peak and the kitchen garden is becoming productive.
Get those warm season vegetables planted! Young starts of tomatoes, peppers, corn, eggplant, cucumber and squash can be planted now that all danger of frost has passed. This should be done without delay, especially if you live in a region where summer is short.
Keep newly planted trees and shrubs consistently moist. This is especially true as we head into the dry summer months. To make this task easier, use water bags around the trunks.
Check your roses for pests and diseases. Blackspot, powdery mildew and aphids usually start appearing in June. As soon as a problem is detected, treat it with an earth friendly spray such as Garden Safe’s Fungicide 3-in-1, which tackles disease, mites and insects. It may be necessary to maintain a regular spraying schedule over the course of the summer.
If your spring blooming perennials are starting to look a little worse for wear, cut them back to encourage new healthy growth. It’s safe to do this until mid-July.
Vining plants often put on lots of new growth in short periods of time. One way to tame the tangle is to use dental floss to tie vines to their supports. The floss is easy to carry around by just sticking it in your pocket, needs no scissors to cut it, and if you use the green, mint-flavored type, it almost disappears next to the vine’s stem.
Sow seeds for biennials such as hollyhock, sweet william, campanula and foxglove for blooms next year.
Cut lavender blooms in early morning before the sun burns off the aromatic oils. After the flowering stops you can lightly prune the plant to keep it in shape.
Plant dahlia tubers, asters and other plants for late summer blooms.
Fill in empty spaces in the herbaceous border with annual bedding plants. Begonias, geraniums and heliotrope are good, bee-friendly choices.
Apply compost to feed your plants!