As the weather dries out, start watering seriously using drip irrigation, if possible. Otherwise, water early in the day to minimize evaporation and let the leaves dry out before nightfall. Deep, less frequent watering is best, as it encourages the roots to go deeper.
Containers and hanging baskets may need water daily. To conserve moisture, add two to three inches of mulch to garden beds and around trees and shrubs. Patrol for slugs and aphids.
June can be a “flowery” month. Plant annuals and deadhead wilted flowers for more blooms. Cut back perennials, especially delphiniums, after flowering to encourage a second bloom.
Stake plants that become heavy. Remove foliage from spring-flowering bulbs after they have died naturally; divide bulbs, if necessary, and replant or store until fall.
Continue planting dahlias, begonias and gladioli. Top and fertilize the roses, checking for mold and black spots. Remove and discard affected leaves; do not compost diseased plant parts. Pinch chrysanthemums back about ½ inch when new growth reaches 6 inches for bushier plants and more blooms; do not pinch chrysanthemums after July 4th.
Plant fall-flowering perennials and bulbs like star of Bethlehem, fall crocus and hardy cyclamen. Do not plant peonies until fall; leave recent purchases in their containers.
Trees and shrubs perform best when planted in early spring or fall. If you are planting now, be sure to provide enough water throughout the summer. Fertilize trees and shrubs with a slow-release fertilizer if there are signs of nutrient deficiencies; water regularly and abundantly.
Prune Japanese maples, removing dead branches and lightly thinning, if necessary. Watch for tent caterpillars; strip or prune nests and caterpillars as soon as you notice them and destroy them.
Thin fruit (except for cherries) when it is about the size of a marble. Plums should be thinned 2 to 4 inches apart on a branch; apples and pears should be thinned to one or two fruits per cluster spaced 6 to 8 inches apart on the branch.
Watch for signs of brown rot, scab and powdery mildew and spray a fungicide according to the product label.
Transplant warm season herbs and vegetables to the garden, including basil, tomatoes, cucumbers, squash and corn.
Place basil and tomatoes in the warmest spot available, such as on the south side of the house, in full sun; cover when nighttime temperatures drop below 50 degrees.
To avoid disease, space tomatoes well apart and support plants with stakes, cages or trellises for good air circulation.
Stop harvesting asparagus when the spears become smaller than a pencil; fertilize and let the tops grow and store food for next year’s harvest.
Watch for leafminers on beets, chard and spinach; remove and discard infested leaves. Pick up the caterpillars found on the leaves by hand.
Unless you leave your lawn dormant over the summer, water thoroughly at least twice a month and fertilize once during the last half of the month. Mow often enough to remove only a third of the length of the blade.
Leave grass clippings on the lawn to return nutrients to the soil. Avoid aerating lawns in early summer to prevent damage to new growth.
Marilyn Stewart and Janet Oja are WSU Certified Clallam County Master Gardeners.
Join us for the upcoming Digging Deeper presentation “Brambling Along: Growing Raspberries and Blackberries in the Home Garden,” by Clallam County Master Gardener Jeanette Stehr-Green, from 10:30 a.m. to noon on Saturday, June 18, at the Woodcock Master Gardener Garden demo, 2711 Woodcock Road. She will talk about the cultivation of raspberries and blackberries (canneberries). She will use cranberries growing in the demonstration garden to demonstrate how to train and prune these perennials. She will also discuss the problems that commonly emerge from cranberry plots and how to prevent them.
Presentations and demonstrations cover basic gardening topics relevant to most home gardeners. Seminars are free, but donations to help support the WSU Clallam County Extension Master Gardener Program or the Master Gardener Foundation of Clallam County are appreciated. See extension.wsu.edu/clallam/master-gardener-calendar.