June Gardening Chores

It was a record-breaking long spring so why not a record-breaking summer. This year it seems we went straight to summer from winter with no spring in between. Anyone else have any kind of spring?

There’s still time this month to try to catch up on some chores and plant, June traditionally is our wettest month of the year.

1. Plant a new supply of vegetables every 2 weeks to give yourself a new crop through the season. Early spring crops are done but there is still time for tomatoes, green peppers, green beans, cucumbers, zucchini, squash, pumpkins and annual herbs.

2.       Keep your asparagus bed weeded and let the green top ferns grow until they go brown; do not cut.

3.When mulching, leave 2-4 inches clear from the plant stem and the mulch ring no larger than 5 inches deep. More than that and you are smothering the plant itself.

4. Leave spring bulb greenery to die off naturally. I gently remove the yellow leaves if they bug me and plant summer perennials to cover them in the meantime.

5. Japanese beetles show up this month so hand pick and drop in a bucket of water with a few drops of dishwashing soap to drown them. Pick early in the morning when they are sluggish. Also treat your lawn with nematodes and milky spores, both will gradually help eliminate grubs. Add geraniums and tansies to your flower beds, they are natural Japanese beetle repellants.

6. Trim lilacs immediately after they end flowering so growth the rest of this year will provide blooms next year.

7. Get flower pots planted. Water the soil first, let drain, then add your flowers for better adjustment.

8. Plant annual flower seeds such as zinnias, sunflowers, forget-me-nots, cosmos, marigolds and herbs. Some herbs can be moved inside later for winter use.

10. When planting wildflowers, mark the beds where seeds have been added. Some wildflowers may take two years to germinate.

11. For those of you with grass, don’t cut more than 1/3 of the grass down at one time.  For spots where grass doesn’t grow, plant flowers.

12. When adding perennials, focus on native plants. Once established, they will require less water and care than non-natives and they will be food for native pollinators.

13. Pinch mums once a week to encourage them to grow bushy for fall flowering. I take the pinched off pieces, gently push them into the ground and encourage more plants to grow.

14. Feed roses and other plants compost to give them a good source of energy. Roses should be fed once a month. A quick pick me up is to dig your banana peels, egg shells and coffee grounds in around roses.

15. Take photos of your garden. Use the same photo spots you used in spring so you can see the changes from one season to the next.

16. Also make sure to have a nice seating area in your garden so you can stop and smell the flowers.

Charlotte Ekker Wiggins is a beekeeper, gardener and sometimes cook. Published by El Dorado Springs Sun once in print and online with author’s permission. Copyright 2017, all rights reserved. This column may not be reprinted, republished or otherwise distributed without author’s permission. Contact Charlotte at gardeningcharlotte@gmail.com.

FRUITS OF YOUR LABOR – Picking blackberries is a delicious June chore, these are growing over my compost bin.

SUMMER TREAT – Native flowers such as coneflowers start to bloom this month and continue until fall frost. (Photos by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins).

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