Back to top

Garden Clippings 2016 Vol. 36:4

June 6
In This Issue: 

Home lawn and garden tips for the month of June, 2016 include practical and timely advice. Read this monthly resource to know when to prune, install a rain gauge, tend to recent plantings, move houseplants outside, monitor for pests, and more.

June is the Month to…

  • June is the time to plant tender annuals. Tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, cucumbers, and melons can all be planted now. The danger of frost is past and soil temperatures should be adequate for quick establishment. Keep an eye on the watering needs of transplants; they are unable to take up moisture from surrounding soil until the roots have grown into it.
  • Spring flowering shrubs such as rhododendron, lilac, and azalea can all be pruned immediately after flowering. Next year’s flowers are produced the year before in summer, so pruning now allows for maximum flower development.
  • June is a good time to raise the height of your mower. Raise it up to about 3” for the hottest and driest months. Don’t forget to leave your lawn clippings on the lawn and mow when the grass is dry.
  • Install a rain gauge to determine how much rain falls in your yard. Summer precipitation events such as thunderstorms can be extremely localized even within a single town.
  • Don’t forget to care for new plants. Trees, shrubs, and perennials all need careful attention at least through the first growing season. Even drought tolerant species need attention until they become established.
  • Move your houseplants outside. This may also be a good opportunity to repot plants that have become pot bound. When placing house plants outside, be careful not to put them in full, direct sun; this can cause the foliage to sunburn because the foliage has been adapted to the lower light intensities of indoors.
  • Many fruit trees experience what is known as June drop, a premature shedding of fruit. Apples and pears are most susceptible to June drop, but this can also occur in other tree fruits. June drop is often a result of poor or incomplete pollination or as part of a tree’s way to regulate overbearing. Some years, trees may need additional thinning even after June drop. A good rule of thumb is one fruit per flower cluster.
  • Thoroughly monitor your gardens for pests. This should be done weekly; take the time to inspect all parts of the plant, including under leaves, inside growing tips etc. If you find something, get it appropriately identified – correct identification is the first step in responsible management and in implementing Integrated Pest Management (IPM).
  • Reduce your summer weeding efforts by using mulches in the vegetable garden. Most heat loving crops such as tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, melons, and cucumbers benefit from plastic mulches that increase soil temperature. Infra-Red Transmitting IRT plastic mulches can increase soil temperatures as much as 8-10˚F. Straw mulches work well between the rows and around crops that like cooler soils such as swiss chard, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, and kale.

- Russ Norton, Cape Cod Cooperative Extension

Subscribe to @UMassGardenClip for a daily gardening tip, plus sunrise/sunset times.

What’s that insect, disease or weed exactly? The UMass Plant Diagnostic Lab diagnoses sticky problems for a fee, which includes a written report with pest management strategies that are research based, economically sound, and environmentally appropriate for the situation. Plant Diagnostics Laboratory

The solution to many garden problems starts with checking soil pH and nutrient levels. The UMass Soil and Nutrient Testing Lab provides testing for these as well as possible problems with lead. Soil and Plant Nutrient Testing Laboratory

Check out our home lawn and garden fact sheets, which cover an array of topics.