June’s ideal climate (not too hot, not too cold) brings out the best in plants and trees — new growth, budding flowers and well-forming fruit. It is also time when gardeners can plant and prune so yards look their best throughout the summer months, say experts at Agromin, an Oxnard-based manufacturer of earth-friendly compost products made from organic material collected from more than 50 California cities including those in Santa Barbara County.
» Prune roses: Roses should be in full bloom by June. To keep rose bushes producing during summer, prune back each stem low enough to encourage denseness. Remove spent flowers immediately.
» Container vegetable gardens: Many vegetables will grow well in containers as long as they have full sun and are kept watered. The bigger the pot, the more soil, which will keep moisture in so plants require less watering. Containers must have holes on the bottom for proper draining. Use wire cages for vegetables such as tomatoes and cucumbers. Herbs also do very well in containers.
» Plant easy-growing Shasta daisies: If you are looking to fill a bare space in a flower garden, one of the quickest growing and long lasting flowers is the Shasta daisy. Flowers are white or yellow and bloom from early summer to late fall. Plants are easy to care for and are low maintenance. Plant in full sun in well-drained soil. Once finished flowering for the year, cut back flower stems to two or three inches tall. The plants will immediately begin growing again and begin another flowering cycle.
» Protect fruit trees from birds: Anyone with fruit trees know that birds, squirrels and other animals can decimate a tree’s crop. If trees are small enough, put protective netting over the trees prior to fruit ripening.
» Keep citrus trees well watered: Water citrus and avocado trees every two weeks. Water deeply and apply mulch around the trees to maintain cool soil temperatures. These types of trees do not perform well if they experience extreme dryness or moisture.
» Plant heat-loving vegetables: Heading into the hottest months of the year, now is your last chance to plant vegetables that thrive in heat: corn, cucumbers, green beans, lima beans, peppers, zucchini, summer squash, melons and eggplant. Given a chance to take root before extreme temperatures, these plants will do well even as the days grow hotter. Other vegetables, such as tomatoes and peppers, should already be planted and producing.
» Patch bare spots in lawns: June is a good time to patch lawn bare spots. Remove all weeds and add soil amendment to the location. Lay sod or plant grass seeds. Water daily for two weeks and then as needed. The next window of opportunity to replace your lawn will not be open again until October when the weather cools.
» Plant pumpkins: Add pumpkin plants to the garden so pumpkins will be ready for harvest and carving in October. Water deeply several times a week instead of daily. Be sure to keep water off leaves (moist leaves can lead to a powdery fungal infection). Pumpkins will form from pollinated female yellow flowers. Remove smaller pumpkins that look unhealthy so the stronger pumpkins have more nutrients to grow. When pumpkin turn orange, water less frequently.
— Diane Rumbaugh is a publicist representing Agromin.