June Gardening Tips

It’s June … What Needs to be Done?

Planting

• This is the best time to plant vinca (periwinkle), in full sun. They like the hot weather. Cora is a new type of vinca that is resistant to soil-borne diseases. It comes in many colors except yellow. Water with drip irrigation or soaker hose to keep water off the foliage.

• Warm–season color or foliage plants can still be used in containers or in the ground. Utilize 4-inch or larger nursery stock, and keep them well watered. Containers may need water twice a day.

• Buy and plant crepe myrtles in bloom to be certain you have the desired color. They come in a wide range of colors and sizes. Look for ones that are resistant to powdery mildew.

Fertilizing and Pruning

• Prune back autumn sage (Salvia greggii) and mealy cup sage (Salvia farinacea) by one-third. Deadhead other salvias as well as annuals and perennials that will continue reblooming until late fall.

• Continue to prune as necessary, fall blooming plants such as Mexican bush sage (Salvia leucantha), mountain sage (Salvia regla), Mexican mint marigold, copper canyon daises, asters and mums to keep them compact and prevent buds from forming prematurely. Don’t prune after September when buds begin to form.

• Every week, fertilize container plantings (including hanging baskets) with a water-soluble fertilizer.

• This is the second time to use an all-nitrogen, slow-release fertilizer on turf grasses. You can cut the amount by half to prevent excessive growth. The more fertilizer on a lawn, the more water it needs.

Garden Watch

• Insects and diseases will be prevalent this time of the year. Treat with an appropriate organic or chemical pesticide, if needed. Vegetable plants that cannot be salvaged should be pulled up and destroyed.

• Look for small, spindle-shaped bags hanging from trees. These are bagworms. Pull them off by hand. Insecticides are not effective once the bag has formed. They are usually found on cedars, cypress, and other conebearing trees. However, they can be found on other plants including oaks and barberries. They multiply, can defoliate a tree and eventually kill it.

Odd and Ends

• Plants will need supplemental water if rainfall is inadequate.

• Visually check each sprinkler head weekly to be sure your irrigation system is working properly and clear of new growth. Perform an irrigation audit so that each zone is applying the proper amount of water to prevent over- or underwatering. It will also tell you how long to water each respective zone in order to apply one inch of water. Make the appropriate adjustments.  Call a Master Gardener at the Texas AgriLife Extension Service – Ellis County at 972-825-5175 for further information.

• Continue watering newly planted trees until well established which means the tree has become well rooted with good leaf growth. Water when the top two inches of the soil is warm and dry to the touch. This may take several months for small trees and longer for large trees. Leave the open end of the hose on the ground about six inches from the trunk and let the water slowly drip for 30 or 40 minutes. Do not let the root ball completely dry out.

Source: Ellis County Master Gardener’s Newsletter

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