Early Summer Organic Gardening List

Early Summer

Rising temperatures coax roses and peonies into bloom, while plants whose spring flowers are already spent need to be pruned.

  • Feed flowering shrubs and roses.
  • Weed carefully to avoid damaging nearby plants.
  • Buy bedding plants and plant out.
  • Fill hanging baskets and summer pots with plants.
  • Plant out less hardy and tender bedding plants.
  • Prune late spring-flowering shrubs and climbers after they have bloomed.
  • Trim vigorously growing hedges, such as privet.
  • Remove suckers from roses.
  • Tie in climbers regularly to their supports.
  • Climbing roses are pruned right after they finish blooming.
  • Deadhead the faded blooms from perennials as they finish their few minutes of fame.
  • Pinch chrysanthemums to encourage bushiness.

Any of your annual vines that didn't get planted in May can still be planted early this month. At this late date, however, you want to pay extra attention to soil preparation, mulching, and appropriate watering to make sure the plants don't immediately go into stress during the first heat wave.

June is a good time to begin "layering" ground covers and vines for propagation. Layering is simply the process of pinning a shoot to the ground by a leaf node. You can would the joint slightly with a sharp knife before pinning. Cover the area with organic mulch to keep it from drying out. Once roots develop, you cut the shoot and pot it up or move it to the desired location.

Pests-

Japanese beetles hatch out later this month.

Slugs will feed voraciously on hostas, especially if it has been a wet season. Pulling back the organic mulch makes the environment somewhat less attractive to slugs. One-pound coffee cans, filled halfway with beer and a dollop of molasses, will draw in slugs like bees to honey. Sin the can into the ground up to the rim. Cut a 1-inch hole in the center of the lid and place it on the can.

Happy Gardening.

Have you looked at our other How To Flower Articles or our flower picture gallery?