Prune, plant, cut, stake, and do a little dance to celebrate summer in your garden this year
John Hethrington has been gardening since the age of 9. He spent his early life gardening in Toronto and earned his certification as a Master Gardener before moving to Meaford where he cultivates 2.5 acres with 20 different gardens. He publishes monthly garden tips for local newsletters and his column will appear on CollingwoodToday.ca as well.
Summertime and the garden chore list is not easy. Master Gardener John Hethrington has, however, made sure you work efficiently wit the following June gardening tips:
- Summer is really here and it’s the driest May in years! Get your annuals planted now. Add a little general-purpose fertilizer and water well.
- Fertilize perennials, roses, shrubs and vegetables using a balanced fertilizer, not the one for your lawn. Pull back the mulch (that should already be there). Dig the fertilizer in lightly around each plant and replace the mulch.
- Start cutting your lawn higher and leave cuttings on the lawn as “green” fertilizer.
- Prune spring-blooming shrubs and trees (lilac, forsythia) after they have flowered.
- Prune evergreens and hedges now, not later in the summer.
- Finish removing all daffodil and tulip flower stems. Leave leaves to mature and feed the bulb for next year. Add a little bone meal around bulb clumps to promote bulb growth for next year.
- Stake or cage tomato plants, dahlias, gladiolas, peony plants, etc.
- Thin vegetable seedlings and plant successive crops. (Plant a second crop as the first is maturing e.g. lettuce, spinach, radishes.)
- Seed flowering cabbage/kale into garden rows for later transplanting.
- Plant seeds of fast-growing flowers such as cosmos, marigold, calendula, etc.
- If desired, move houseplants outside to protected areas.
- Deadhead (cut off) faded blooms on plants such as petunia, rose, verbena, etc. This will promote continuous blooms and bushy plants for the second half of the summer.
- Weed and water garden beds as needed.
- Add mulch to suppress weed growth and hold in moisture. At least two inches.
- Cut back by a third, late bloomers such as mums and asters. This will make them bushier and give them a mounded shape for the fall.
- Turn compost regularly and check moisture level, not too wet, not too dry.
- Take cuttings of perennials, shrubs, roses, etc. for rooting.
- Watch for local plant sales like the Giant Plant Sale at St. George’s Anglican Church in Clarksburg on Saturday, June 12 2021. Approved by the Grey-Bruce Health Unit, it starts at a new time, 8 a.m. Entry by car only. Choose from a wide variety of choice perennials for sun or shade, named Daylilies, raspberry canes and shrubs at really reasonable prices. The 599 Garden Club experts will provide advice. Also 255 tomato plants in four varieties. Your resident Master Gardener will be at the sale to answer your horticultural questions.