To-Do List: Mid-Atlantic

R. L. Rhodes
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In June, temperatures soar and delightful gardenias bloom. Time your garden work for cooler mornings or evenings so that you will be more comfortable. Soaker hoses and timers can make watering your garden easier for you. The main tasks this month are light trimming of spring blooming shrubs and a final planting of summer annuals.

  • Trim old blooms and prune spring blooming shrubs like azaleas and some spirea. These shrubs will start to form next year’s bloom on the new wood that grows this summer. Leave any shrub that has not bloomed yet.
  • Finish buying summer annuals such as petunias and marigolds. Use the low growing annuals to edge perennial beds as well as to fill in spaces from spring bulbs.
  • Plant the last of your warm weather vegetables. The ground is warm and transplants will grow quickly. Just remember to water them often. Warm weather crops include tomatoes, summer squash, melons and peppers as well as summer herbs like basil.
  • Tidy up any early blooming perennial herbs such as lemon balm. After the plants bloom, they put energy into making seeds. If the lower leaves are sparse and brown, trim the plant to about a foot and wait for a new flush of growth to arrive.
  • Check that your soaker hoses and timers are working. Summer temperatures and low rainfall make watering the garden an essential chore for most landscapes. Soaker hoses that are put on timers will help deliver water efficiently to the plants and at a time when they can benefit from it most, such as early in the morning.
  • Bugs can arrive in June. Check your garden regularly to see if any bugs are laying eggs in your garden. Look under the leaves of perennials and shrubs as well as on top. If you see evidence of eggs or insects, treat them promptly before they disfigure the whole plant or shrub.
  • Fertilize warm season grasses. If you have a warm season lawn such as Zoysia, Burmuda or St. Augustine, and you have not fertilized yet, now is a good time to give the lawn a boost. Be sure to water deeply after fertilizing.

June’s garden chores will ensure that you garden survives summer weather. Pick up some last minute annuals from The Home Depot in your area, along with new timers and hoses if needed.

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