June Garden Tips

from Al Krismer Plant Farm
June 2018
Beautify your gard

Dear Gardening Enthusiast,

This is the month of shortest nights
And garden scents are heavy and sweet
Now the rose blooms, red, pink and white
Bright, glowing in the evening heat"
~By David Squire~


June Garden Tips

Perennials, Annuals, and Bulbs:

  • Fertilize containers with a timed-release fertilizer. This fertilizer looks like small beads that releases nutrients to plants at each watering. One application of the fertilizer will last the entire growing season.
  • The best time to pick flowers from your garden is in the early morning. For longer lasting arrangements, use a clean container, change your water daily and cut the tip off the stems every few days.
  • Plant gladioli in late May or early June. These bulbs will flower in about 3 months. To deter thrips (a tiny white or brown insect that loves your gladioli as much as you do), soak your bulbs in in a mixture of two tablespoons of disinfectant to a gallon of water for 3 hours before planting them.
  • Pick up all leaves and faded flowers and add them to the compost. These are a favorite hiding spot for slugs and snails.

Vegetable and Herbs:


  • Don't fertilize tomatoes until the first fruit has set. Too much nitrogen will cause leafy growth at the expense of flowers and fruit. Most other plants benefit from a starter fertilizer when transplanted
    More info on growing tomatoes
  • The flea beetle chews many small holes in the leaves of a wide range of vegetable crops especially young transplants of the cole crops (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts). Cover with floating row cover to exclude these tiny, hopping bugs before they begin feeding. This covering can be left in place day and night since it is permeable to light and moisture. It also "breathes" so that heat does not build-up underneath. Be sure to seal the lower edges with soil or stones. Allow ample room underneath for plant growth.
  • Do not plant your tomatoes in the same place year after year. Due to the possibility of a buildup of soilbourne wilts disease, it is recommended that you rotate your vegetable plants.
  • Keep the vegetable garden watered if rain is scarce during the rest of the month. Vegetables need at least an inch a week. Using soaker hoses makes sense to keep water off the leaves of the plants and to avoid wasting water
  • Don't let basil or other culinary herbs flower; flowering changes the taste. Pinch back the top leaves to prevent flowering and promote bush plants. Herbs are best harvested in the morning - cut the stems, then strip off the leaves. To dry herbs, hang branches in a cool, dark place
    Tips on harvesting herbs

Garden Maintenance:


  • Spray for weeds a day following a good soaking rain, with no rain in the forecast for the following two days. T he weeds will take in the herbicides much better when they are actively growing and you'll have a much better weed kill.
  • It is too late for broadleaf weed control products or combination weed 'n feeds. Summer's heat will cause the weed killer to vaporize and drift, damaging other flowers & vegetables. Total vegetation killers such as glyphosate can be used all season but will kill everything so don't use them in your lawn or allow overspray onto desirable plants..
  • Water the garden before 10 a.m. Avoid watering during the hottest part of the day (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.) . Watering at this time will cause the loss of 50 percent of the water applied.
  • Sow seeds for Flowering Kale and Flowering Cabbage for colorful plants next fall and winter.
  • Don't forget hanging baskets! Water them every day taking care to pinch off any spent blooms or dead foliage. Feed with liquid fertilizer once per week. Hanging baskets and container plantings need extra care in the heat. They can dry out very quickly, especially around the edges where evaporation occurs first due to the shallower soil.


Shrubs and Trees:


  • Spray for weeds a day following a good soaking rain, with no rain in the forecast for the following two days. T he weeds will take in the herbicides much better when they are actively growing and you'll have a much better weed kill.
  • The first task that we need to do this month is to get the spring flowering trees and shrubs trimmed. Flowering crabapples, serviceberry, dogwoods, hawthorns, magnolias, lilacs, and viburnums all set their buds for next years flower on the new growth they develop this year. These plants should be pruned now to encourage new growth and therefore flower buds for next year. It is recommended that you complete the pruning of these plants by June 15th.
  • Bagworms have hatched and you need to keep watching your evergreens just in case they show up in your landscape. For those of you with 30' blue spruce that had them in the top of the spruce, now that they have hatched, this is the perfect time for you to spray and stop them. Many sprays work, but for now, use Bt. Spray now, or you'll be hand picking later.
    Tips on controlling bagworms
  • The month of June is associated with roses. For good bloom and healthy plants, be sure to fertilize yours this month, using a liquid fertilizer at each watering or a specific dry rose fertilizer according to directions. Most of the new hybrids are especially heavy feeders and need a lot of fertilizer to bloom well if other conditions also are correct. To discourage weeds and retain moisture, mulch with organic material around the base of each bush.

    Click here for tips on rose care
  • Apply a two to four inch layer of mulch around trees to the drip line of the tree. Keep mulch at least four to six inches from the trunk. Piling mulch up against the trunk resulting in the ' volcano effect  can cause crown and root rot and may eventually kill the tree.
  • Fertilize flowering shrubs like Rhododendrons,Dwarf hollies and Azaleas immediately after they have finished flowering with a 'Rhododendron' or 'Evergreen' type fertilizer.


Lawn Care:


  • Cut lawns high 2 to 3 inches for fescue/bluegrass lawns - and leave clippings on the lawn if possible. Cut zoysia and bermuda grass lawns at 3/4 - 1. Fertilize zoysia and bermuda grass (but not bluegrass or fescue) in July.
  • Lawns need at least an inch of water each week. If Mother Nature doesn't supply it, you should. Water deeply - at least an hour in each spot - to promote deeper root development. Water in the morning to help prevent the development of fungal disease
  • This time of year, lawns need to be mowed regularly, usually once a week or even more often. Frequent cutting promotes vigorous growth and a healthy lawn. But don't wait too long between cuttings or cut your grass too short. Most grasses should be mowed to one and one-half to two inches high. Be sure the blades on your mower are sharp, so they will cut rather than tear the grasses.


House Plants:


  • Give potbound houseplants a new home. Remember, only move up one or two pot sizes. Use clean containers and fresh potting soil.
  • Houseplants really benefit from a summer vacation in a shady spot in the yard. Even those that prefer very bright light should be in the shade. Surprisingly, outdoor shade is still brighter than almost any spot indoors. Plus the move back into the house in the fall will be less traumatic.
    Learn more about houseplant summer care
  • Those attempting to re-bloom poinsettias should set the pot in a fairly sunny area and remove about one inch of the top growth as soon as the new growth is four inches long. Continue pinching to shape the plant until late August.
  • As the growth rate of your house plants increases with the seasons, adjust your feeding schedule to provide additional food. Feed your plants a good all purpose house plant food at half of the manufacturers recommended rates, increasing the proportion slightly to accommodate growth spurts. Overuse of fertilizers can cause root and foliage burn, as well as the death of the plant
  • When watering boston ferns or any fern that has a full soft crown (top), lift up the fronds and water from underneath, or submerge the plant in a bucket of water. Otherwise, the weight of the water can easily break down the crown.


Water Gardens


  • A dirty filter can cause the flow in a pond's water feature to slow. If this occurs, the filter should be cleaned as soon as possible to prevent possible damage to your pump.
  • Do you have trouble with fish rooting around in the soil of the plant pots in your pond? If the answer is yes, try placing potato-sized cobblestones on top of the gravel or aquatic potting media to discourage this behavior.
  • A biological filter must have water flow 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to be effective. A lack of water flowing through a filter leads to a lack of oxygen which kills the beneficial bacteria in the filter..
  • Pitcher Plants are great for water gardens - they love boggy soil and are very interesting. Like a Venus Fly Trap, they enjoy munching on insects!
    Learn more about pitcher plants
  • Remember to continue fertilizing your plants.
    Remove dead foliage from the pond.
    Feed your fish well.
  • There is still time to plant water lilies in pools or in tubs (which are easy to move). Make sure you add goldfish to the water features to help cut down on mosquitoes.
    Tips on growing water lilies


Insect and Disease Control


  • Avoid working in the garden when the foliage is wet. This will help to prevent the spread of disease.
  • Slugs usually damage leaves by eating holes in the foliage, while caterpillars and beetles chew from the edge of the leaf to the center. Many insecticides will not be effective against snails and slugs.
  • Tiny holes in foliage and shiny, black beetles on tomato, beets, radishes, and potato indicate flea beetle attack. Treat with Neem, rotenone, Bt, or use nematodes for larvae. Follow label directions
  • Cutworms begin their work at night this month. If your plants are gone in the morning, stop by a garden center on the way home for several different options.


Garden Critters


  • Avoid wearing fragrances such as in colognes, skin lotions, some sunscreens, even shampoos and hair conditioners as insects are quite attracted by such smells. While dark clothing will generally give more protection from the sun's harmful rays, it is also more attractive to insects than light-colored clothing. If drinking sodas, make sure a bee or wasp has not found its way in the container behind your back!
  • There is much you can do to prevent getting stung on the rest of your body by such as hornets, yellow jackets, wasps and bees. Mosquitoes, ticks, and ants don't sting but rather bite. First there are the many commercial chemical and chemical-free preparations you can buy to ward off such insects, some more effective than others, some to which you might even be allergic, and some even containing sunblock as well.
  • Learn about and encourage healthy bugs like ladybugs, lacewings, and other predatory insects to come into your garden and feed on your pests. You can do this by planting fennel, dill, allyssum, ammi majus, and cumin.
  • Butterflies are easy to please. They like to sunbathe, so a large flat rock exposed to the sun is a must. They also need mud baths, so set up "butterfly puddles" where they can get required salts and minerals. A dish of cut-up, overripe fruit always hits the spot, and pastel flowers are their favorites.
    Learn more about butterfly gardening


Monthly Garden Tips are sent out by Al Krismer Plant Farm during the year. Look for the Tips and the expanded e-news before the 10th of the month. Quick Links below

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