When June arrives in Georgia, the hot humid weather is pretty much here to stay. This year already seems like it’s going to be a hot one, so knocking out our June garden chores will be split between mornings and evenings. The good news is that our gardens are loving the weather.
We have had an interesting year so far dealing more with animal pests than insects or disease. The deer have been consistently raiding our crops. One doe in particular keeps showing up and has come daringly close to us while munching on our elderberry saplings, hosta, and mulberry. We are going to spend a lot of time this month making sure we out harvest our competition, not to mention, doing everything we can to secure the gardens.
Luckily, June garden chores are more about enjoying and maintaining the garden. The hard work is mostly behind us for the summer. The intensity will be kicking up inside as we are preserving our harvest in every way we can. Enjoy the dividends of all the hard work in the spring and winter. There’s going to be a lot of delicious food coming our way.
Take care of the contained
Fertilize houseplants frequently.
A good portion of the plants that live in our house during the winter head outside for the summer. It always seems like no one is happier about the long days and brighter light than our houseplants. Whether indoors or out, these plants are growing quickly. Keep them flourishing by feeding them throughout the summer. Either use a liquid fertilizer weekly or add a slow release fertilizer as the package recommends.
Repot houseplants as necessary.
By the summertime, some houseplants have outgrown their containers. It’s the perfect time to repot them into new containers. Some plants can be divided and replanted. Others just simply need a bigger container. Knocking out this little chore will give you thriving happy plants very quickly.
Water and fertilize hanging baskets and containers
Because the temperatures in June start to tick up a few notches, plants are using a lot more water. Any plants in hanging baskets or containers are drying out much quicker, so water frequently. Because the frequent watering will wash many nutrients out of the containers, replenish them with regular fertilizing as well. Make sure to follow the directions on the type of fertilizer that you use. We like to use an organic granular fertilizer that acts a slow release and is easy to spread.
Water and weed often
Keep your gardens weeded and watered.
If you don’t stay ahead of the game on weeds, they can get way out of control. A quick round of using the garden hoe to clear out some areas can go a very long way. Throw in a few minutes with a hori hori knife digging out the tough weeds and your work will last even longer. Believe it or not, it’s possible to have a weed free garden without being in the garden daily. Knock out your weeding early and your garden will be a breeze to deal with during the summer and fall.
Water deep and often (or as needed).
June can be polarizing when it comes to rainfall. Some years it’s wet, some years it’s dry. Keep newly planted trees and shrubs well-watered especially in times when rain is scarce. Watch out for any younger seedlings while they are getting established as they can dry out quickly. Walter Reeves provides a great guide for understanding how much to water different plants.
Mulch your vegetable gardens.
Your trees, shrubs, and flowers aren’t the only plants on the block who like a good mulching. Your veggies love it too. Plus it helps reduce the need for watering and weeding. By June, herbs and vegetable plants should be getting some height on them which makes it easier to work around them. It’s the perfect time to add a few inches of composted mulch to help feed the soil and hold in moisture. Our gardens always explode with growth after getting a good mulching. This is a June garden chore that keeps on giving.
Knock out some pruning
The biggest fight we have in our garden is actually what’s hanging over it. The trees all over our property are constantly competing for the best pockets of sun which just happens to be exactly where our gardens grow best. I start trimming our trees in June before the summer heat really hits. You can trim up to ¼ of the canopy back to encourage healthy growth.
Prune back late spring flowering plants.
Just as we did last month, we will prune back spring flowering shrubs that just finished up. By the end of the month, gardenias and many hydrangeas will be wrapping up their spring blooms. Prune these dead flowers off which will encourage a flush of new growth. Many varieties of hydrangea will rebloom after a flush of spring growth.
Harvest and watch for pests
Let the summer harvest roll in.
The first of the summer garden harvest begins in June. Tomatoes, beans, and cucumbers start to arrive in June quickly followed by summer squash and okra. Keep okra and squash picked as they ripen. Fully ripe fruits still on the plant will actually slow down flowering which decreases the harvest, so keep picking often.
Continuing sowing or sow more seeds.
It’s a great idea to sow a row or two of the same vegetable every couple of weeks to create a continuous harvest. Beans, beets, carrots, radishes, kale, and radishes are all wonderful candidates for growing a continuous harvest. I like to use these types of vegetables to fill in any empty areas in our beds or areas where we might have just harvested and cleared out.
Pay attention to upcoming harvests.
Lots of our perennial fruits have been fruiting over the past couple of months. We have seen blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries burst into action. Now we are seeing the summer crops starting to form. Elderberries, blackberries are blooming while blueberries and figs are forming their fruit. Always keep an eye out for what is coming next. We are excited to see our first figs growing from young plants.
Fight off pests and disease.
Check your gardens for signs of pests and diseases. During the late spring, slugs can run rampant. Try out our diy slug traps to help control them. Check your flowers and veggies for any issues that might be just appearing. Powdery mildew, blackspot, aphids, and all of the leaf munching caterpillars start showing up in June. Catch them early and treat them to knock them out before they become a big problem.
Release beneficial insects.
This is a time that we like to release many of the beneficial insects that help combat our numerous pests. The beneficial nematodes we used last month have kicked into action and have knocked back the flea beetles that were already munching on our tomatoes and tomatillos. We are overdue to apply the beneficial nematodes in many of our other gardens. After seeing our first Japanese beetles on the raspberries, this just jumped to the top of my June garden chores list.