➤ Follow these steps to be a “water smart” gardener:
➤ Water efficiently.
➤ Put the “right” plants in the “right” places.
➤ Add organic matter.
➤ Collect A/C condensate and rainwater to water plants.
➤ Fertilize only warm-season grasses this month. Don’t fertilize fescue until fall.
➤ Mulch all of your flowers, shrubs and trees. This will help deter weed growth, keep the roots cooler, conserve water in the soil and provide a more attractive look to your landscape. Wood chips or bark, pine straw, recycled rubber mulch and shredded leaves are all excellent mulches. Make sure that any shredded mulch delivered by local tree trimmers is allowed to age (a minimum of one month) before spreading around plantings.
➤ All spring-flowering shrubs and trees can be pruned soon after blooming, before new growth starts. Pruning after June 30 might reduce the amount of flower next spring—so get out the tools now!
➤ Be on the lookout for black-spot and powder mildew on roses. Treat with a recommended fungicide but alternate brands to reduce chemical resistance (find chemical recommendations at http://www.ent.uga.edu/pmh)
➤ Japanese beetle season is here! Traps are ineffective; the best method of removal is hand-picking the beetles off of your roses, shrubs and ornamentals and dropping in a bucket of soapy water. Encourage your neighbors to start a treatment program in the fall—treating your lawns for the grubs that develop into Japanese beetles.
➤ Are your patio containers filled with colorful flowers and foliage? Remember, container gardens need much more water than bedding plants. Water daily (use “graywater” such as condensation collected from your air conditioner or bathtub), and be sure to fertilize these plants frequently to encourage blooms.
➤ You’ll get more blooms for a longer period of time if you deadhead (remove old flower heads) annuals such as petunias, marigolds, salvia, zinnias and geranium.
➤ Suffer from blossom-end rot on tomatoes, peppers, watermelon and squash? Avoid this problem by proper mulching and watering correctly. Don’t let soil dry out between waterings, and avoid high-nitrogen fertilizer.
➤ Have you moved your houseplants outside for the summer? Pay close attention to the location of the sun as the month progresses, and move them to a shadier location if sunburn occurs. Water and fertilize with a 20-20-20 water-soluble fertilizer.
What To Plant
➤ June is the best time to seed, sprig or sod warm-season grasses such as bermuda, centipede and zoysia. Remember that newly planted lawns MUST be watered—be sure to follow state water rules (www.urbanagcouncil.com).
➤ For basil and parsley all summer long, plant seeds every two weeks. You’ll have a constant supply of fresh herbs for the kitchen until frost.