HORTICULTURE — Garden guide: Things to do this month


By Mary Jane Frogge, Extension Associate

Celebrate Pollinator Week, June 18–24, by planting native perennial plants and placing a bee house in your landscape.

Start a gardening notebook. Keep all your gardening records in this one location.

Spring flowering shrubs such as spirea, viburnum, lilac and forsythia should be pruned as soon as they are done blooming.

Remove foliage from spring bulbs after it turns yellow and begins to dry.

Use bark mulch around young trees to protect them from lawn mower damage.

Mid- to late-June is an excellent time to take softwood cuttings of shrubs to start new plants. Some shrubs which can be propagated in this way are spirea, lilac and viburnum.

When you buy nursery stock that is container grown, check the root ball and make sure it is not bound too tightly. A mass of circling roots will stay that way even after it is planted in the ground.

Remove old flower heads from annual bedding plants to keep them blooming.

Leftover vegetable and flower seeds may be stored in a cool, dry location to be saved for planting next year.

Keep a close eye on the quality of your spring crops. Hot weather causes lettuce to bolt and become bitter. Plant a warm season crop as soon as the spring vegetables are harvested.

In most cases, blossom-end rot on tomatoes, peppers, squash and watermelons can be prevented. Do this by maintaining uniform soil moisture by mulching.

Identify garden pests before you attempt to control them. If you decide to use chemical control, read the label carefully.

Bats can be an effective way to control insects. One big brown bat can eat 3,000 to 7,000 insects each night. Attract bats by building and placing bat houses in your yard.

During the hot summer months, mulch can be especially useful for conserving water. For vegetable gardens, shredded leaves or grass clippings are good mulch material. For ornamentals, pine needles or wood bark do the best job.

Weed removal is important for a number of reasons. It conserves moisture, conserves nutrients in the soil and helps prevent the spread of disease and insects.