Flowering bulbs bring reliable color to the garden each year. Lilies (top and middle photos) and irises (bottom) come in many vivid colors for your choosing.



What to do in June

There is still time to plant heat tolerant summer annuals. Just be sure to water transplants as needed until roots become established.

Removing faded flowers from plants before they set seed will keep the plants flowering and producing more flowers.

Frequent mowing every four to five days is best for your grass. Mowing often helps to reduce weeds by preventing seed heads from forming. Alternate mowing directions to keep the turf from developing a “grain.”

Apply a light application of fertilizer every four to six weeks to annual flowers.

Fertilize rose beds every four to six weeks with a high nitrogen fertilizer for healthier plants.

Continue to spray zinc on pecan trees and fertilize with nitrogen. Check for case bearer and spray if necessary. Do not spray for aphids. Remember to irrigate to improve the health of your pecan trees.

Be on the lookout
Check for insects and diseases. In warm weather, spider mites can become troublesome.

June is a great time to select day lily varieties (photos at left) as they reach their peak of bloom. You are able to see the colors of the blooms and make your selections more wisely.

Continue to spray roses for black spots and insects. Funginex, Rose Defense, Daconil, and Captan are suitable for black spot. Thrips cause buds to fail to open and petals to brown. Apply an approved insecticide for control.

Look for problems on tomatoes. Blossom-end rot appears as a sunken brown spot on the bottom of the tomato. This is caused by irregular watering. Mulch plants and keep them moist to help prevent this problem. Early blight produces yellow blotches or dark circular spots with concentric markings. Spots occur on lower leaves first. Apply approved fungicide at seven- to ten-day intervals. Curly top virus causes leaves to curl and cup upwards, fade to light green to yellow, and display purple veins on the lower sides. Remove these plants from the garden and rotate plants next year.

Miscellaneous chores
Irrigation is essential in flowerbeds. Water lawns and gardens thoroughly but not too frequently. Soak to a depth of about six inches. Watering in the early morning or late evening may eliminate problems with evaporation from sun and high winds. Shade trees need more water than turf areas do. Soaker hoses coiled at the drip line of the tree are the best way to water large trees.

Conserve moisture in the soil around plants by mulching. Apply mulch three to six inches deep depending on the material used. In general, coarser materials will need to be deeper than finer ones. Mulches also help to reduce weed growth in flowerbeds.

Houseplants can be moved outdoors now. Sinking the pots in cool, shaded garden beds helps prevent them from drying out so quickly. Water containerized plants and hanging baskets often. Monthly feeding with a balanced fertilizer will encourage continued growth.

    (c) 2007 - 2008 Howard County Master Gardeners