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Weekly Gardening Tips for Your Area


To-Do List: Northeast

R. L. Rhodes
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June is a busy time of year in the garden as the growing season really kicks into high gear. The first chores to do are the things that you didn’t finish last month! There really just isn’t enough time to do it all, is there? That’s okay, though. If you get everything planted this month, there’s still plenty of time for your plants to grow. Sometimes waiting for guaranteed warm weather is actually better for the plants anyway.

  • Plant warm-weather vegetables. Focus on the getting all of those warm-weather vegetable plants into your garden. Peppers and tomatoes will really grow fast once the cold weather moves on. Pinch plants back when they are small to encourage fuller and bushier plants that will support a heavy load of vegetables better.
  • Plant another round of cool-weather crops. If you have a shady spot in your garden that gets some sun during the day, consider sowing one last crop of fast-growing, cool-weather crops, such as spinach and lettuces.
  • Harvest strawberries. June is the month when the strawberries finally arrive. Keep the plants well watered, and harvest the fruit often. When the production (meaning the plants are setting new berries) slows down, give the bed a good weeding, add more mulch as needed, and give it another good feeding of fertilizer or compost.
  • Remove spent blooms. As your lilac blooms start to fade, keep the bushes deadheaded so the plants direct their energy into foliage and root growth instead of seeds. When they’ve finished blooming, it’s time to prune them. Cut away any dead branches and be sure not to prune away more than one-third of the bush.
  • Prune perennials. Deadhead and prune all of your spring-blooming perennials. If you do this religiously, you may get a second bloom later in the year as a reward for your hard work and attention. Prune flowering vines such as clematis and wisteria once the blooms have faded. In the herb garden, pinch back or lightly prune herbs like rosemary and basil to keep the plants bushy and full.
  • Fertilize your roses. As soon as buds appear on your roses, fertilize the plants or give them a nice covering of compost. As the blooms fade, deadhead them, or cut them off. This encourages the plant to continue blooming.
  • Deadhead your annuals. Deadhead your annuals often, and keep them well fed with fertilizer or compost to encourage continual blooming. Make sure they get enough water, especially those in pots, hanging baskets and window boxes.
  • Plant fall-blooming perennials. Now is the time to plant so that fall-blooming perennials have plenty of time to get established.

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