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June Garden Checklist

In Pemberton, I never know if May will bring soaring temperatures and blazing sun (like it did this year) or lingering morning frosts, ready to freeze my little seedlings' bums off. Long-time locals always warned not to get too ahead of myself and plant tender seedlings, or sow seeds, until the second-to-last weekend in May.

Now I follow the wisdom of the locals, but in the past I was always a little too excited to try to extend my growing season as much as I could, and would find wilted tomatoes and freeze-burnt pumpkin leaves.

Since then I have come up a wee checklist to get my summer gardening off to the right start for June:

  1. Keep watering bulb plants, until the leaves turn yellow and can be pulled off with a gentle tug,

  2. Prune back deciduous shrubs after flowering, such as forsythia which can look very lanky if not given a good prune in late spring,

  3. Continue to sow lettuce, arugula, spinach, carrots, beets, peas and beans to have a continuous harvest throughout the summer,

  4. Sow summer crops such as tomatoes, cucumber, squash, pumpkins and peppers,

  5. Remove immature apples leaving only one or two on the end of each branch - this allows the tree to focus its energy on the remaining apples (quality over quantity in action),

  6. Keep a vigilant eye on attacks from nuisance bugs, like aphids! Those little green demons take advantage of weakened plants, so keep watering consistent, and either squish them between fingers (not a fan), or spray insecticidal soap (more on that later) or with a powerful hose (my preferred method),

  7. Add organic compost to top up garden beds - this acts as a mulch to keep moisture in and weeds out,

  8. Turn compost pile over to keep it aerated, if its very dry, hose it down so it stays damp, but not gooey and wet, which is a recipe for rot and stench,

  9. Feed houseplants before moving to a shady spot outside for their annual summer vacay,

  10. Add organic compost to top up garden beds - this acts as a mulch to keep moisture in and weeds out,

  11. Weeds can creep up on my garden if I don't consistently pluck them out - save the water and nutrients for veggies and flowers,

  12. Deadhead flowers regularly to promote new growth and flowers,

  13. Stake supports for tall perennials such as delphiniums and tomatoes now so I don't risk injuring them later,

  14. Remove seed heads from azaleas and rhododendrons and mulch around the edges of their roots,

  15. Snip off strawberry runners to concentrate energy into plant and ripening fruit.

WHEW! Busy month and sometimes my addition seems more working than enjoying, but what I do now will save in time and hassle later on in the season.

#Junechecklist #vegetables #planting #sowing

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