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Garden Tips for June

Tips for June

(excerpted from UMass "Garden Clippings")

LAWNS
1) Fight weeds in the lawn by setting the mower height no lower than 2 to 2½ inches. Taller grass will shade out some of the weeds that invade thin or sparse turf. Leave the clippings on the lawn to return valuable nitrogen to the soil. Make sure your mower blades are sharp and will cut, rather than tear, the grass.
2) Don't apply herbicides on newly seeded lawns.
3) Apply Merit for grub control.

WATERING & MULCHING
1) Most plants, including the lawn, need ½ to 1" of water per week. It is best to water with one or two deep waterings than to water lightly every day.
2) When mulching trees and shrubs, avoid placing mulch in a thick mound against the trunk. Mulch should be spread in a wide band 2-3" deep over the root zone of the tree. But don't mulch deeper than 3". When mulches are more than 3-4" deep, they can reduce the amount of oxygen available to the roots of trees and shrubs.
3) Grass clippings that were not treated with herbicides are an especially good mulch for gardens. (NEVER use clippings from lawns treated with herbicides as a mulch in vegetable gardens.)
4) Apply mulch around flowers and vegetables now that the soil has warmed.

FLOWERS
1) Remove the spent blossoms of roses to help deter Japanese beetles.
2) Pinch or cut back the tips of branches on Montauk daisies, fall asters, and some chrysanthemums during June to encourage bushy, more compact plants in late summer/early fall.
3) Look for the bright red lily leaf beetles on lilies (Lilium, not Hemerocallis). Destroy eggs, larvae, and adults. Use Sevin, or do it by hand.

TREES & SHRUBS
1) Remove dead or spent flower blossoms of lilac, azalea, rhododendron, and andromeda to promote more lush growth next spring.
2) If needed, prune spring-flowering plants immediately after bloom, before flower buds for next year are set.

EDIBLES
1) Thin out your vegetable seedlings. Overcrowding by seedlings has the same effect on the growth of vegetable plants as that of weeds.
2) Make additional plantings of leaf lettuce, green beans, and sweet corn.
3) Side-dress potatoes, onions, leeks, and garlic with a 10-10-10-type (or any good commercial farm grade fertilizer) this month. Side-dress long-season crops such as tomatoes, squash, pumpkins, and corn later in June.
4) Side-dress asparagus and rhubarb with a 10-10-10 fertilizer (as described above) or compost when you are finished harvesting for this year.
5) Don't be alarmed by a few apples and peaches dropping from your trees this month. This is known as "June drop" and is nature's way of thinning fruit. Pick off the small fruit on your fruit trees every 6 inches on the stem to encourage larger edible fruit at harvest.
6) Place some straw under ripening strawberries to prevent rotting of berries in contact with damp soils.