This is the month when most perennial flower gardens reach their peak bloom. Unfortunately the weeds are growing at the same time!
Weeds can be sprayed with ‘Round-Up’ or ‘Weed-be-Gone’, but be careful not to spray your good plants. (If some spray gets on a good plant wash it off at once with a watering can.) Weeds can be turned over into the ground, or cut off. However, the best approach is to gently pull out the weeds with the roots intact while they are still young, preferably after a rain when the soil is moist. Weeds that are left to flower and go to seed will multiply rapidly in future years.
June is the most important month to prune your shrubbery. Summer pruning should be completed by late July so plants have time to grow new wood and set flower buds before the winter. In June you should prune spring blooming shrubs such as Azaleas, Rhododendrons, and Lilacs. Roses can be cut back after they have finished their first flush. Hedges can be shaped and sheared. Hollies can also be shaped, but try not to cut off the new berries which are forming. The summer blooming Spirea, Ornamental Grasses, and Viburnums that will berry in the fall should not be pruned at this time.
It is good to fertilize your shrubbery when you prune. Use ‘Holly-tone’ for your evergreens and acid loving plants, and ‘Plant-tone’ for your other shrubs. Spread a handful around small plants, and more for bigger shrubs. Dogwoods can be fertilized with ‘Ross Tree Stakes’.
In the flower garden remember to tip prune or cut back your mums, goldenrods, and asters every couple of weeks to encourage bushier growth with more flowers. To keep the garden looking tidy remove old flowers as they are finished. (This is called dead heading!) ‘Side dress’ your flower beds in mid June! This means you throw in an application of 5-10-5 or ‘Garden-tone’ to stimulate growth and flower production.
Your lawn will benefit from a second application of crabgrass control and weed control, together with a slow release fertilizer around June 15th – 22nd.
From now through October 1st it is important to water your plants during hot or dry weather. Here are some tips to make watering easier:
Make sure you are using 5/8″ diameter hoses, and check the connections and faucets for leaks.
Water with a watering wand (it looks like a long shower head) with an on/off valve attached to the end. Watering wands flow 2-3 times faster than screw or combination type nozzles.
For lawns, beds and ground covers you can use sprinklers. To make it easier for yourself, attach an eggshell timer to the faucet, set it for an hour or so, and you won’t have to remember to turn it off!
Buy a moisture meter! Take readings once a week in the summer and it will tell you when it is time to water. This is particularly important for new plants.
You can continue to plant shrubs and trees, as well as perennials up to late July.
Summer is a good time to upgrade your hardscaping. Many people today are replacing uneven flagstone and brick walkways and patios with decorative paver stones which come in many beautiful designer shapes and colors.
For help in designing new plantings or hardscaping projects call or contact us today for a design appointment.
Happy gardening from the folks at Creative Landscapes!