June Garden Planner

by Scott Duncan

June on Delmarva is prime time flower season. Scott Duncan has some tips about their care and more.

June on Delmarva is prime time flower season.

  • Encourage bushy production of flowers by pinching back and deadheading. For Iris and Peonies remove the flower stalks. Also trim rose blossoms and dead foliage from bulbs that have finished blooming.

  • Tuberous Begonias and other tropical plants can now be safely planted outdoors, and Gladiolus corms can still be planted for blooms all summer long.

  • Immediately following the end of flowering you will want to fertilize shrubs like Rhododendrons, Camellias and Azaleas with a fertilizer for acid loving plants such as Hollytone (Espoma) or Cotton seed meal.

  • Add supplemental mulch to garden beds that have bare spots from wind or rain.

  • When the weather gets hot, if you are still planting seeds for later harvest, cover them with burlap to keep them moist until they germinate.

  • Learn to recognize the eggs of pests like Colorado Potato Beetles and cabbage moths on the underside of your plants. Scrape off the eggs and pop the little caterpillars into a container of diluted kerosene. When a heavy infestation gets underway, use Rotenone powder, applied with a duster, to lightly coat the tops and bottoms of each leaf. That quickly stops the little munchers.

  • By the end of the month watering season has begun. Before plants begin to wilt, check to see if your plants are receiving enough water. Dig down a few inches into the soil. If the soil is moist 3 to 4 inches below the surface, water is probably reaching the roots and you're good to go. Keep checking your soil daily.

  • When things start to really heat up, it's most important to water thoroughly and deeply each time, and to allow the soil to dry out before watering again. Deep watering causes the plant's roots to travel deeper, making it less likely for the roots to dry out and anchoring the plant more strongly. If you planted drought resistant plants in your garden, you won't need to water as often, but the principal of deep watering still applies.

  • It's best to water plants during the morning hours so that the leaves can dry off a bit before the hot sun hits them. Watering during evening hours can be a problem if the foliage doesn't have a chance to dry before the temperature drops at night, creating the perfect conditions for susceptibility to fungus and disease.

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