June Gardening Chores
Historically, June is the wettest month of the year for Missouri, the last month gardeners can plant and count on nature for water. As we welcome summer, June is also a good month to plant the rest of your vegetable garden.
- Plant a new supply of vegetables every 2 weeks to give yourself a new crop through the season.
- Japanese beetles show up this month so hand pick and drop in a bucket of water with soap. Also treat your lawn with nematodes and milky spores, both will gradually help eliminate grubs. Geraniums and tansy are natural Japanese beetle repellants.
- Trim lilacs now so growth the rest of this year will provide blooms next year.
- Get flower pots planted. Water the soil first, let drain, then add your flowers for better adjustment.
- Leave spring bulb greenery to die off naturally. I gently remove yellowing leaves if they bug me and plant summer perennials to cover them in the meantime.
- Plant annual flower seeds, such as zinnias, sunflowers, forget-me-nots, cosmos, marigolds and herbs.
- Mulch your vegetables, even those growing in pots. Shredded leaves, shredded paper and torn cardboard all work under dried grass and leaves. When mulching, leave 2-4 inches clear from the plant stem and the mulch ring no larger than 5 inches deep. More than that and you are smothering the plant itself.
- When planting wildflowers, mark the beds where seeds have been added. Some wildflowers may take 2 years to germinate.
- For those of you with grass, don’t cut more than 1/3 of the grass down at one time.
- When adding perennials, focus on native plants. Once established, they will require less water and care than non-natives.
- Also make sure to have a nice seating area in your garden so you can stop and smell the flowers.
Charlotte Ekker Wiggins is a gardener, beekeeper and sometimes cook, for more visit gardeningcharlotte.com. Published by Kaleidoscope Weekly with permission. Copyright 2018, all rights reserved. This column may not be copied, published, reprinted, rewritten or redistributed. Contact Charlotte at firstname.lastname@example.org.