TLC for the June Garden
Jun 06, 2013 11:49PM
● By Anonymous
The warm June soil helps seeds germinate quickly and welcomes bedding plants taking root. Embellish and refresh your summer garden assortment with annuals such as cosmos, bachelor button, sunflower, nasturtium, zinnia, four o’clock, and marigold (full sun); and coleus and impatiens for partial sun and shade. Technically, perennials, geraniums and petunias aren’t winter hardy; however, they’re tough enough to withstand the sultriest weather and go the distance until the first frost.
The balmy soil also welcomes bulbs like dahlia, gladiolus, canna, and tuberous begonia to provide a late burst of floral fireworks.
June is the optimal time to prep next year’s garden with biennials (plant this year, bloom next summer), including charming vintage varietals such as Sweet William, hollyhocks, foxglove, wallflower, forget-menots, pansies, snapdragons, and Canterbury bells.
Taller spring blooms now need a helping hand to prevent “leggy” stems from toppling by gently attaching to supportive stakes, while those growing vertically require digging up to thin and properly space. Irises, oriental poppies, and primroses benefit from being divided.
Deadheading and pinching may sound more like torture than treatment, but it’s tough love necessary for growth and continual blooming all season long. Meanwhile, warfare must be waged on beetles and aphids, black spot, and powdery mildew.
Oh Sow Many Options
For June veggie gardeners, a veritable feast awaits. Danger of late spring frost is all but gone, as are pests that ravage and wreak havoc on earlier crops (though squash bug and slug invasions wait in the wings). Increased hours of warm sunlight exposure provide prime growing conditions, while digging up bolted lettuce, spinach, and other spring garden staples frees up space at just the right time.
A surprising number of crops can be sown directly from seed into the Mid- Atlantic soil as late as June, including snap beans, beets, carrots, chard, corn, edamame, leeks, lettuce, melons, parsnips, pumpkins, radishes, scallions, and squash (summer and winter). Whether you’ve had the forethought to sow indoors or have rushed to raid the shelves of a local garden center, it’s a good time to transplant old standbys like peppers and tomatoes, and sweet potatoes and watermelon, as well as almost every culinary herb you can think of, the exception being cilantro, which must be sown directly from seed.
A special thanks to Andy Hobson, a landscaper out of Queenstown, and Bob Masters, a landscaper out of Annapolis, for contributing to this article.