In most climates, June is generally when the great weather begins. The days begin to stay warmer and most of the garden is already planted. In most areas, all frost danger is passed. This is the month to plant your cucumbers, green beans, squash and sweet corn. Mulch your crops and flowers to hold the moisture in the soil during the hot weather and reduce the growth of weeds.
Now is a good time to start your compost pile. Add garden, yard and certain household wastes to the pile. The warmer weather will help breakdown the compost quicker than in the winter. If you already have a compost pile built, then check it for dryness. A dry pile means that the compost is not decomposing. Water the pile and turn it over to reactivate it.
Be on the lookout for plants that are infected with powdery mildew. For the few spots where it appears, pick off the leaves and destroy them. Wash your hands between plants so you do not spread the infectious fungus. If the leaves are yellowing and falling off the infected plants then treat with sulfur, potassium bicarbonate, chlorothalonil or thiophanate methyl fungicides to protect the new growth. Follow the directions on the package for the product that you choose. Check the plants for insects and squash bugs.
Fertilize your container plants during this time of new growth. Liquid fertilizer like 10-10-10 will do well for most containers. Fertilize every 3 to 4 weeks to give your plants the best chance of survival. If you choose to fertilize every 2 weeks then cut the fertilizer amount in half. Plants like annual zonal geraniums, rosemary and oregano require less fertilizer than other plants. Fertilize the strawberry beds during June as well.
Pinch back your herbs a quarter of the way back to promote bushiness and fresh growth. Deadhead dying flowers to keep them producing blossoms throughout June. Remove the dead leaves from spring blooming bulbs. Pink back the centers of fall flowers to promote foliage growth.
Create a cover over the top of your tomato plants with a piece of plastic. Keep the sides open to promote air circulation. This is to prevent late blight disease which can destroy a tomato crop. The fungus Phytophthora infestans travels through splashing of water on plant leaves. A cover prevents summer showers from spreading this disease. Water your tomato plants directly along the ground to prevent wet leaves open to fungal infection.
Water your garden and handing baskets regularly. Rain will fall in the month of June, but it may fail to reach the rootballs due to heat and leaves blocking the rain. It is best to soak your plants at least once a week and sometimes more if summer heat should appear early.
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