Horticulture Tips for June
Consider the following tips for your June landscape:
- After a very warm late-winter/early spring, late-April and May surprised us by being cooler than normal. This has caused many plants to be “behind” where you would usually expect them to be this time of year. Bermudagrass and tomatoes are two examples. Be patient, the sunshine and heat should arrive any day now.
- Keep a close eye on irrigation needs, especially with new plants. Even though the rains have been plentiful this year, in some cases waterlogged soils have led to root decline. As it dries out, these plants may need water sooner than you might think.
- Remain diligent for insect activity. For vegetable growers, scout often so you can maintain the upper hand. Remove the early insects by hand, along with inspecting for and destroying eggs before they hatch should be a high priority. Often times this will eliminate/reduce the need for chemical control.
- Spider mites have also been a problem the last several years. While they typically aren’t as bad in wet weather, this is the time of year you can expect them to make an appearance, so keep an eye out. Scouting these are more difficult as spider mites are extremely small and difficult to see with the naked eye. A nice tip is to place a piece of white paper under a leaf and tap on the leaf several times to knock the mites on the paper. The mites will be easy to spot as they scurry around. Insecticidal soaps and neem oil offer some control of mites but diligence is necessary to keep the populations low as they reproduce rapidly as the temperatures go up. Note that most all purpose insecticides do NOT provide spider mite control so product selection is somewhat limited. Even products that are labeled for control do not work well once populations become high and the mites protect themselves with webbing. Once webbing is evident, it is best to remove the infested leaves.
- June is also a good time to begin controlling the growth of select flowering plants. Educate yourself on the growth habits of the specific plants in your garden as it is important to prune at the proper time so flowering is not adversely affected. In general terms, most annuals benefit from light pruning (pinching back) to prevent them from developing leggy weak stems and to encourage continued blooming. Many of the spring blooming perennials are now past their peak bloom and can be cut back as well.
- Remove any wraps that have been placed on trees to prevent winter injury or deer damage. Leaving this material on throughout the growing season increases the opportunity for insects and disease to attack your tree. Just make a note on your calendar now to replace it again in the fall.
Keith Reed is the Horticulture Educator in the Payne County Extension OSU Extension office. You can contact him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, call 405-747-8320, or stop by the Payne County Extension Office at 315 W. 6th in Stillwater.
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