June is my favourite month in the garden; the perennials have all emerged, the warm weather has taken root and the earth is still wet with spring. If your garden has already been cleaned up, trimmed, Triple Mixed and mulched then you should have a little more time to sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labour. The beginning of the month is usually the best time to plant your annuals, however this will depend on what zone you live in. In Southern Ontario, where I live, I usually plant my annuals somewhere between the last two weeks of May and the first two weeks of June; once the threat of frost is long gone.
Weed management is a must during the first of the truly warm months. Dig them up when they are inches high and discard them safely. If the weeds are taller than a couple of inches do not pull them out; better to dig them out with your garden spade and collect as much of the root system as you can. Pesticides are not the only solution to eliminating invasive weeds. I worked on a garden a few years ago that was overgrown with a type of weed that would self-propagate when the tiniest piece of its root was left in the ground. With a garden spade I diligently dug up and removed every piece of plant and root I could find. That same year, as little miniature weeds popped up from the pieces I had missed, they were carefully dug out. By the following spring, the weed was no longer a threat and almost eliminated from the garden. Whatever you do, do not let weeds go to seed. There is an old saying, “one year’s seeding is seven year’s weeding.” There are species of plants whose seeds can remain viable for decades.
IMPORTANT: Watering the Garden
As always, I must harp on the importance of watering, especially with newly planted garden beds and annuals. During the warm summer months, it is possible that annual containers will need watering every day. Letting them dry out for even a few days can compromise their health and subsequently their blooming potential. New perennial and shrub additions to your garden must be watered regularly with no exceptions straight through to the end of fall. A prolonged dry spell will most certainly compromise the health of the plant and could be fatal. A dry spell late in the fall will weaken the plant and undermine its chances of surviving the long cold winter months ahead.
If finding the time to water is a problem, consider installing a watering system. The best time to do this is before you install the plants so that the plumbing can be buried underground. Alternately, you can purchase soaker hoses that can be snaked through your beds. The hoses should be laid out over the soil and then covered with mulch. A simple turn of the tap and your gardens will be watered without having to walk all the way through the yard and getting dripped on in the process!
To avoid burning your plants, watering should not be done in the direct light of the mid-day sun; early morning is the best time. Aim your hose at the base of the plants instead of the leaves and make sure that the soil in between the plants is sufficiently moistened as well.
Take Care of Your Plants
The heat of the summer tends to set in around the end of June, and so do all the backyard parties and summer vacations. While it’s easy to get carried away in the fun rush of summer events you need to take some time to give a little TLC to your lovely plants. Take a stroll through your garden before or after work—coffee or drink in hand—and check how each plant is doing. Do you notice insects collecting on the stems or leaves, or in the soil below? Does the plant look healthy? Does the shape look nice, or is it getting leggy? If you notice anything out of sorts, the time to take action is NOW! Don’t wait until the summer has come to an end to deal with a problem. You may no longer have a plant worth saving.
Check in with us once a month between March and October for tips on how to care for your garden. And remember, Design for Conscious Living® is a full-service interior and exterior design company. We can help you with everything from decorative flowerpots to the design and installation of your dream garden.