June in the FloridaGarden
The First Month of Summer (and Hurricane Season)
June is the first month of the official Atlantic hurricane season. If you did not prune your trees in May, now is when you should do it. Trim back dead or weak branches from trees and make sure that you have all the limbs hauled off so that they do not become dangerous projectiles in the event that a storm should approach. While Hurricanes have been rare in the month of June it is not too early to prepare. Before a storm arrives is the best time to prepare your home and yard for one.
This month, and all through summer, continue to fertilize since Florida's sandy soils do not hold nutrients well and your plants may begin to show signs of nutritional deficiencies. The heavy rains and consistent watering help to leach away the foods plants need to do their best. Pay special attention to plants which are heavy feeders such as palms and cycads. Insects are still on the prowl and will be until the cool weather sets in. Be aware and you will be able to end infestations of bugs before they begin. If you are still hoping to plant a traditional vegetable, herb or annual garden this month these are your best bets:
Vegetables: Boniato, Calabaza, Chayote, Cherry Tomatos, Collards, Cowpeas, Dasheen, Okra, Peanuts, Roselle, Seminole Pumpkin, New Zealand Spinach, Southern Peas, Squash, Sweet Cassava, Sweet Potatoes, Yard-long Beans and Yautia.
Herbs: Basil, Chives, Dill, Ginger, Marjoram, Mexican tarragon, Mint, Oregano, Rosemary, Sage and Thyme.
Flowers: Begonias, Caladiums, Cat's Whiskers, Celosia, Coleus, Cosmos, Cockscomb, Dianthus, Gaillardia, Ginger, Impatiens, Lantanas, Marigolds, Melapodium, Moon Vine, Pentas, Periwinkles, Porterweed, Portulaca, Purslane, Salvia, Strawflowers, Sunflowers, Torenia and Zinnias.
Bulbs: Achimenes, African Iris, Caladiums, Cannas, Crinums, Daylilies, Eucharis Lily, Gladioli, Gloriosa Lilies, Society Garlic and Zephyranthes (Rain Lilies).
Palms: Summer’s warm, rainy weather is the perfect time to plant palms.
Pests: Monitor the garden weekly for harmful insects. Knowing which insects attack
a plant can aid in identification and treatment.
Irrigation: June is normally the start of the rainy season, but if rainfall has been
spotty, monitor lawns for drought stress and water as needed.
Propagation: Now is a good time to produce more plants by air layering, grafting,
division, or cuttings.
Palms and cycads: Watch for nutrient deficiencies or environmental problems
with palms and correct using an appropriate treatment.
Pruning: Many summer flowering shrubs, like hibiscus, oleander, and crepe myrtle,
benefit from frequent light pruning during the warmer months.
Rejuvenate lawn areas: For areas where grass doesn’t grow well, try replacing
with versatile ground covers.
Lawn problems: Lawn insects are very active during the warm months. Check
frequently for damaged areas and keep insects in check with early treatment.
What to Do Every Month
• Adjust irrigation based on rainfall.
• Deadhead flowers to encourage new blooms.
• Monitor the garden for insects and disease.
• Plant trees, shrubs, and perennials and water until established.
• Mow lawnsat recommended heights:
• St. Augustine & Bahia: 3-4”
• Centipede: 1.5-2.0”
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