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June garden tips

What is one to say about June, the time of perfect young summer, the fulfillment of the promise of the earlier months, and with as yet no sign to remind one that its fresh young beauty will ever fade.  ~Gertrude Jekyll

Temperatures really begin to heat up in June and that typically marks the end of the planting season in this region. But continue to check out clearance sales for garen plants there are often good deals to be had!
Be sure and add organic matter to your soil as you plant, it will improve your ground over time and help get your new plants off to a great start.
Unless your area experiences unseasonably cool, moist conditions, your spring-blooming bulbs' foliage should be yellowing. Add the leaves to your compost pile once they have turned yellow and pull out of the ground with no resistance. Don't remove the leaves before this, however -- otherwise your bulbs may not perform as well next year.
If you haven't already mapped out your garden'sspring bulb display, do so now. That way you can know exactly what bulbs you'll want to purchase this fall and where to plantthem so they'll look good next spring.
Heat-loving summer bulbs are coming into their own. If you haven't planted any yet, get them in the ground now.

Watch for chinch bugs in St. Augustine grass. 
Watch for signs of garden pests -- if you catch them early, you can usually keep them from becoming an epidemic that ruins your yard.
Lacebugs are a big problem on azaleas, though you don't usually notice the damage until August or September. But now's the time to attack them. Look at your azalea's leaves for black spots on the bottoms and the black-and-white insects on the leaf tops. Spray with neem oil, insecticidal soap, or a similar product to keep them in check.
Examine junipers, birches, cherry and arborvitae for bagworms and other leaf-eating caterpillars, then treat with Bacillus thuringiensis as needed. Keep an eye out also for aphids and other small sucking insects, as well as whitefly. Spider mites can be treated with pyrethrums, an extract from mums.
Powdery mildew on Crapemyrtles: If you have been paying close attention to your crapemyrtle foliage lately, you've probably noticed that the disease has already started. According to the 2007 Ag. Chemicals Manual, Banner MAXX or Bayleton are the recommended fungicides. Consider using resistant cultivars. The following are resistant; "Biloxi", "Byers Standard Red", "Byers Wonderful White", "Miami", "Osage", "Seminole", "Tuscarora", "Tuskegee", "Yuma" and "Zuni".

Keep an eye out for containers of standing water in your garden -- they may be breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Change the water in your birdbaths daily and use environmentally friendly mosquito-control products in water gardens
Now is a good time to stroll around the landscape and be observant. Look at the new growth on the trees and shrubs. There should be several inches on the ends of the branches. (The new growth generally follows flowering, on spring flowering plants.) This growth is an "indicator of progress". Also look at the tops of old shade trees in the yard. There should be foliage all the way to the tips. If the ends are bare, there may be some future, serious problems. 
Finish planting summer color beds. Don't take any shortcuts in the soil preparation stage. In order to maximize top growth and flowering performance, there has to be good root establishment and growth. This will only occur in well tilled, organically amended beds.

A watering schedule is a must!
Add a rain gauge to your irrigation system or in your garden to monitor the water amount. Most plants need at least 1 inch a week. Clay pots need watering almost every day.

Avoid watering roses over the top. This can add to problems of black spot. Keep a watch out for this fungus.

Before going on vacation:
Check all plants for disease or insects and treat as needed.~ Clean all weeds so you don’t come home to a jungle. ~ Arrange for someone to water or keep an eye on things if you have an irrigation system.

Begin making cuttings from azaleas, hollies, cotoneasters and other shrubs.
Pinch off dead flowers to promote more flowering.
Make sure your mulch is about 2-3 inches thick. Keep the mulch away from the trunk of the trees, shrubs and other plants.
Cut back and thin out diseased or spindly branches of spring flowering shrubs.
Now is the time for pruning roses after they have bloomed. Cut back at least to the full 5 part leaf.
Begin planting fall-blooming perennials now.
Fertilize Bermuda, St. Augustine and Zoysiagrass at the recommended rate.

Clemson University June Garden and Yard tips:


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