June Gardening Checklist: Bugs, Day-Trips and More
With the help of many gardening friends I have attempted to offer on these pages some useful information to help you with your own garden. Gardening is sharing. Any corrections, comments or suggestions are appreciated and will improve future information. Bugs (both good and bad), places to visit, soil care and more are the focus of this NoteStream. Also see our NoteStreams on Flowering Plants, Fruit Trees, Edibles, and Ferns, Lawns, and more.
"Very good info as i am a new gardner" 5 stars by Janice
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The information, dates and techniques in this blog are as accurate as I can currently offer. During the past three decades I have cared for, nurtured and observed tens of thousands of plants.
With the help of many gardening friends I have attempted to offer on these pages some useful information to help you with your own garden. Gardening is sharing. Any corrections, comments or suggestions are appreciated and will improve future information.
Ladybug, Ladybug Fly Away Home....
Beneficial Insects and Wildlife
• Beneficial insects should be abundant in your garden now, especially if you planted a few flowers just for them.
• If needed, Ladybugs and Lacewings can be released again this month.
• The population of natural predators and parasites always follows behind that of the pest. They will need some time to catch up with the pest, so be patient.
• Giant Whitefly is active again and infestations should be noticeable. Predators and parasites should also be present by now. Check immature whiteflies carefully for signs of parasite activity. If none are found in one part of the garden remove a few leaves from another plant that has been parasitized and place it carefully into the foliage of the non-parasitized plant.
Beneficial Insects and Wildlife (Cont.)
• Flea, grub and cutworm populations may be present now. Control can be achieved by using various beneficial nematodes. These microscopic worms are applied by mixing them in a water can and drenching the area, then watering well.
• Encourage opossums, which are predators of the common garden snail.
• Now that the weather has warmed, spider mites can become problems on many plants, such as citrus, avocado, pine, juniper, ivy and others. Release beneficial predator mites now for control.
• Trichogramma wasps are very effective parasites of caterpillars. If these pests are usually a problem in your garden a couple of releases of these beneficials will be worthwhile. Space the releases 30 to 45 days apart.
Better With Butter
(See also the information under the individual plants)
• Look for signs of chlorosis and fertilize to correct the problem.
Rose Garden Arbor
Huntington Library, California
Image by Pamla J. Eisenberg
Places to Visit
• Gardens that look terrific almost any time of the year include Sherman Library and Gardens (Corona del Mar), The Fullerton Arboretum (Fullerton), Los Angeles Arboretum (Arcadia), Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens (San Marino) and Quail Botanical Gardens (Encinitas).
• Rose Hills Memorial Park (Whittier) is still in full bloom. This is not only a national All America Rose Selections trial garden, it is one of the top rose gardens on the west coast.
• The last of the big home garden tours are wrapping up this month.
• San Diego County Fair, held in Del Mar during three weeks from mid June to early July, offers probably the best garden and horticulture presentations of any fair in California. Extensive landscaped displays, dozens of flower and landscape competitions, seminars and much more make it well worth the visit.
Records, Catalogs, Books and Organizations
• Summer is one of the best times to attend educational garden seminars and meetings. Many excellent programs are available and most, but not all, are free, require no memberships and no reservations. There is so much going on right now that you will have to pay close attention to keep track of it all.
• Make notes in your journal now, especially about water and pests. These will be useful to you again next year.
It All Starts Here
• We have included this section, because as you know, or will discover with more experience, a good garden begins with the soil. Investing in the soil, managing the soil and protecting the soil are not afterthoughts in a successful garden, but the foundation.
Healthy soil is living and breathing, teaming with earthworms, microorganisms, beneficial fungi, bacteria, microbes and other invisible life. This section, possibly the most important topic of all will, provides some helpful guidance to good soil care.
• A thick layer of organic mulch, averaging about two inches, should be maintained on top of the soil just about year-round. Especially with the warm temperature of summer just ahead, this is an excellent time to refresh this layer and add additional mulch as needed.
Soil Care (Cont.)
• Applied now, a thick layer of mulch will cool the root systems from the hot temperatures, reduce irrigations as much as half this summer, reduce weed problems, and improve both soil life and soil quality.
• We do not suggest the use of very high analysis fertilizers in a garden, especially phosphorus. Examples of fertilizers to avoid are synthetic versions with formulations like, 10-55-10, 10-30-10, etc. We don’t even suggest the popular 15-30-15 formula. These formulations will inhibit or even destroy much of the soil life that is so vital to a healthy sustainable soil.
• We also suggest that you not use soil-applied systemic fertilizer/insecticide combinations (especially popular with roses). These are very damaging to soil life.
Soil Care (Cont.)
• Use insecticides only when necessary and even then use the least damaging product available. Many of these products move into the soil and interfere with the invisible soil life.
• If you can, begin a compost pile or purchase a compost bin. Leaves, clippings, kitchen produce scraps, and many other ingredients can be composted and returned to the garden. Home compost is one of the very best ingredients you can add to your soil. The benefits are huge in the areas of disease suppression, increasing beneficial microorganisms, improving soil structure and texture, nutrient retention and nematode suppression.
• Be sure that before you put a plant into the ground you have considered the soil and are doing all you can to improve it and protect its health.
Water & Irrigation
(See also the information under the individual plants)
• Adjust the interval and duration of irrigations now, as we head into the warmer months.
• Periodically, rinse off the foliage of the plants in your garden during the summer. Larger shrubs, vines and trees will need a spray from a garden hose. This will cleanse the foliage of dust and some pollution. Pest problems will be reduced and the plants will “breathe” easier as well.