June garden tips

Courtesy of Plant Paradise Country Gardens

Welcome to the land of “Pleasant Living”. Summer will arrive June 21st!!!!! Gardens should already be producing, so let’s take a look at the outdoor landscape for the monthly tips and chores.

  • house plants are actively growing and can be fertilized. Place them out of doors in a shady spot with dappled sun light.

  • Summer annuals and perennial weeds are rapidly growing at this time. Try to hand pull, if possible, since the soil is so wet.

  • Grass clippings provide about 25% of the nitrogen a lawn needs for the year. Leaving grass clippings on the lawn eliminates bagging, and adds organic matter and nitrogen to the soil.

  • Moss growing in the lawn means low light, compacted soils and low pH. Moss does not kill the grass, but fills in where there is none.

  • June is the beginning of lawn disease season. Diseases such as dollar spot, brown patch, and red thread can be seen in the lawn. No fungicide sprays are recommended. Close mowing and excessive fertilizer can make the lawn more susceptible to the disease. Drier weather will take care of some of these moisture-causing problems.

  • Mosquitoes can be a problem. Reduce mosquito problems by turning over empty pots, lids and other vessels to prevent a breeding place for the larva. Replace the bird bath water often, also.

  • Deer tick populations are especially high in the Chesapeake Bay region. Keep the grass and weeds mowed, and move the bird feeder to the edges of the yard to minimize tick problems. Always wear light colored clothing when hiking, and do a body check after being outdoors.

  • Keep an eye open for indoor pests— insects like Indian meal moth and carpet beetles. The recommendation is to vacuum them up and discard the infected products. No chemical controls are recommended.

  • Beneficial insects are feeding on the “bad guys” in the yard and garden, especially yarrow, asters, zinnias, mint, thyme, daisies, dill, goldenrod, and fennel present.

  • The garden should be producing. To control the weeds around the plants and between the rows, try using newspaper. This will help keep the soil moist, discourage the weeds, and help increase the earth worm populations.

  • This is snake mating season. Snakes in the landscape are considered to be beneficial, because they control insect pest and rodents.

  • To keep deer from feeding in the garden, try hanging small deodorant soap bars among the vegetables on stakes. Deer are creatures of habit, so try to change their habits by using fencing, soap bars, and other repellents that are on the market.

When the weather warms up, tis the season for feeding and reproducing. The yards and gardens are providing the three basic needs of animals and insects: food, water and shelter to raise their young. So we gardeners are in competition with nature : it’s us against them. Pay attention. “An Ounce of Prevention is worth a Pound of Cure”.

Article by Dawne Howard, Master Gardener and FCFCDB member

Nature Note for June 17, 2018