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Weekly Gardening Tips for Your Area


To-Do List: Southern California

R. L. Rhodes
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School’s getting out, the heat’s revving up and the longest days of daylight for garden work happen this month! There are lots of things to keep you and your family busy in the garden in June.

  • It’s time to get into full gear for planting. Areas of Southern California with coastal weather influences will likely experience the “June gloom” that new plants and transplants encounter as they settle into their new homes. But farther inland the sun will soon be beating down, making conditions more stressful both for you and the newly planted. So use the last of the cooler weather this month to get lots of garden planting done. And check out the great assortment of flowers and vegetables pouring into The Home Depot. This is the time of year you will find the best selection of exciting plants to add to your garden.
  • Pay attention to how much water your garden really needs. There may still be areas of Los Angeles County with mandatory watering restrictions. And even if this year’s rains lighten the watering regulations, you can count on the fact your water bills will not go down. So water early in the morning and consider adding low-volume sprinkler systems and drip irrigation to your landscape.
  • June is the perfect month to start a compost heap. Composting is a wonderful way to turn kitchen scraps into rich nutrients for your garden. You can build your own compost bin or buy one that’s conveniently ready-made. There will be plenty of plant materials from your garden and kitchen to recycle naturally this way. Just make sure you compost only plant materials and avoid all animal byproducts.
  • Check over fruits and vegetables daily in the vegetable garden for anything that is ready to harvest early and for signs of insect infestation or disease. Supplement with hand watering and spray any insect infestations with water or treat with insecticidal soap or low-residue insecticides.
  • Check ponds and fish regularly. Algae can cause water to turn green, which is not harmful but not pretty either. And springtime is when fish are the most vulnerable to disease as they emerge from their dormancy. Treat at the first sign of white spots, lesions or parasites. There are liquid treatments available to handle all the spring pond problems that might arise.
  • Plant drought-tolerant perennials. There are some beautiful drought-tolerant flowers ready for planting in June that can make your garden both lovely and eco-friendly.

June is the perfect time to work on your gardening to-do list. The weather is comfortable for working outdoors and you can get your garden into perfect shape now so you can enjoy it later when summer heat sets in.

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