“June is the gateway to summer.” – Jean Hersey.
“In early June, the world of leaf and blade and flowers explodes, and every sunset is different.” -John Steinbeck.
“It was June, and the world smelled of roses. The sunshine was like powdered gold over the grassy hillside.”- Maud Hart Lovelace.
“Green was the silence, wet was the light, the month of June trembled like a butterfly.” – Pablo Neruda.
“Far up in the deep blue sky, great white clouds are floating by. All the world is dressed in green, many happy birds are seen, roses bright, and sunshine clearly shows that lovely June is here.” – Edward Sanders.
The end of May has arrived and the trifecta months of summer (June, July and August) are just beginning. As summer approaches, pace yourself in the great outdoors as you continue your landscape activities in June.
Cannas: Continue to remove faded and expired flowers to prolong the bloom season into the fall. Cannas are moderately drought resistant, but plants will be more robust with higher quality blooms if watered every three to five dry days. In August, make a final application of fertilizer, such as 5-10-10 or similar analysis, at a rate of one-half cup per square yard of planted area.
Crape myrtles: Continue to remove excessive vegetation as needed for better shape, form and health (do not commit crape murder). Also remove exhausted and spent flowers to encourage a fall presentation of flower color. Continue to inspect these plants for any insect or disease activity. If the leaves are sticky and blackened, then aphids or scale insects are a distinct possibility. These insect pests release a honeydew (sticky substance) and the sooty mold fungus (blackened appearance) feeds on it. Control your insect problem and you will most likely cure the mold situation.
Dogwoods: Continue to remove excessive vegetation (suckers and unnecessary growth) along main and lower branches as needed for better shape, form and health. Continue to inspect these plants for any insect or disease activity and address accordingly. Be on look-out for anthracnose fungal activity.
Flowering kale: Sow seeds of flowering kale in late July to early August. Prized for its colorful ornamental leaves (pink/red, purple or white centers surrounded by green), flowering kale is also edible. Plant in full sun in healthy, well-drained soils. Also, flowering kale may be grown in containers for use on the deck or patio. To keep flowering kale healthy and showy, water frequently during dry weather. Ornamental cabbages have leaves with wavy edges, while the leaves of ornamental kale have ruffled or crinkled edges.
Heat management: Exercise care while working outside in the heat of the day. Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated, wear proper clothing including sun hat and polarized sunglasses, and use sunblock for protection on exposed skin. Pace yourself and try to do your landscape chores in the early morning or early evening hours.
Irrigation: Be sure your landscapes get the water they need. Look for dry spots (graying) in the lawns, wilting of flowers and leaves, and other stress-related responses. In general, about one-inch of water per week suffices for most plants.
Landscape planning: Now is a great time to utilize for planning your woody ornamentals and sketching your site plans. The initial step is an analysis of the site to determine needs and identify problematic situations such as poor drainage and compaction. Review and study your plant choices and their cultural requirements. Develop and sketch your ideas to scale onto paper. Your initial thoughts, ideas and approach should be very general. However, as the process develops and you begin to address your wants and the site’s needs, the final sketch or drawing should be very specific and ready for a fall installation.
Pine straw and cones: Late June and July mark the beginning of any noticeable falling of pine needles from surrounding pine trees. This dropping will continue deep into the fall season. Rake these needles and use the straw to refresh your landscape beds. Pick up any fallen pine cones before mowing. The heavy green pine cones can be destructive to your mower unit, as well as becoming a safety hazard to people and property when thrown by the mower blades.
Pruning: Most major pruning is done in the spring, but now is a good time to perform minor pruning to shape plants. Most spring flowering plants are setting buds now, so prune only to cut back long shoots, and remove dead or diseased wood (otherwise, you may be removing flower buds). In addition, remove dead blooms from all plants and divide daylilies and Japanese irises.
Repellent: A homemade mosquito (ants and fleas) repellent includes ½ liter of alcohol, 100 grams of whole cloves, and 100 milliliters of baby oil or similar (almond, chamomile, lavender, fennel, etc.). Leave cloves to marinate in alcohol for four days, stirring every morning and evening. Then, add the oil and mix thoroughly. Gently rub a few drops into the skin of the arms, legs, and neck.
Soil sampling, etc.: Now is a good time for taking soil samples and having them analyzed for improved soil and plant health for fall, developing plans for your fall landscape needs, and for rooting plant materials from cuttings. Pinch mums (chrysanthemums) for a final time later in July to encourage improved budding and flowering. Feed mums every two weeks with liquid fertilizer until flower buds appear. Also, dried blood repels rabbits, white geraniums repel Japanese beetles, and dragonflies feed on mosquitoes.
Keep your hanging baskets and potted plants refreshed with water and food. Remember to feed and water the songbirds, and give your pets the care they need. Also, be on lookout for children playing and bicyclists riding along the streets and roadways throughout our communities. And remember to safely share the road with motorcycles. As you’re driving along the highways and byways, keep your eyes on the road and away from the phone and other distractions.
Also, help the homeless every chance you get. Share your blessings with those less fortunate. Let’s keep everyone safe and secure while enjoying the great outdoors. And, remember to pray for one another, our nation, and those around the world who are hurting and suffering. God bless each of you! Goodbye May, Hello June!
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8. “O LORD, You are my God; I will exalt You and praise Your name, for in perfect faithfulness You have done marvelous things, things planned long ago.” Isaiah 25:1. “I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given to me — the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.” Acts 20:24. “I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles.” Isaiah 42:6.
“June is the gateway to summer.” – Jean Hersey.