June Gardening Tips from the Acton Garden Club
Editor’s Note: Judy Dembsey, Master Gardener and Acton Garden Club Member, has put together some gardening tips for the month of June to help your garden succeed.
Do not drive or park on the lawn. Compaction of the soil by heavy equipment or foot traffic in the root zone of the plant reduces the pore space for air in the soil. The percolation of moisture through the soil is disturbed so that the desirable air / moisture balance is not maintained. The roots die from lack of oxygen.
Mulch landscaped plants with organic mulches that provide many benefits including moisture retention, control of soil temperature fluctuations, weed control, and protection against mechanical damage from edgers and lawn mowers. Organic mulches such as bark mulch are also attractive and help add organic matter to the soil through decomposition. Remove established perennial weeds before applying mulch. Avoid mulch depths greater than 4 inches and do not allow mulch to come in contact with the base of trees and shrubs.
Most plants (lawns, vegetables, perennials, annuals, trees and shrubs) need an inch of water per week. It is best to water with one or two deep waterings per week and then water lightly each day which promotes shallow rooting. This typically means amounts of 6 “deep for lawns, 8” for gardens, and 10 “for trees and shrubs. Digging in the ground is the best way to determine if enough water is being received. rain gauge to monitor the amount of water the plants are receiving.
Prune spring-flowering shrubs such as: forsythia (Forsythia spp.), Rhododendrons and azaleas (Rhododendron spp.), Virginia spirea (Itea virginica), syringe (Philadelphus spp.), Nine bark (Physocarpus opulifolius), flowering spirea spring (Spirea), lilacs (Syringa spp.) and (Viburnum spp.) after flowering.
Wait for the bright green new shoots to harden before pruning the conifers in July and August.
Annuals and perennials will retain a consistent flowering performance if their faded flowers are continually removed, preventing seed formation.
Pinch off fall asters and chrysanthemums to produce bushy plants with many flowers until early July. support tall plants before they fall.
Remove the wilted flower heads from the rhododendrons which are now forming seeds. Be careful as there are new shoots on either side of the old flower heads.
June is a good month to get your houseplants out. Many houseplants prefer dappled shade or protection from the midday and early afternoon sun. Now is a good time to repot them in larger, cleaner pots using a soil-less growing medium.