Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Florida Gardening . . . what to do in June

After a very unusually cold winter, summer has crept up on us. The poor bushes have put out new growth amongst the bare sticks that still need to be pruned from the winter damage.

After years of neglect, we have the overwhelming task of starting over again with the landscaping.
As we rebuild "The Paradise" I will be posting before and after photos as well as articles on projects we are working on.

In anticipation of starting over, I visited an excellent website by one of my favorite Florida gardening gurus, Tom MacCubbin, for knowledge, inspiration and motivation.

Here are Tom's tips on what to do in June . . .

Lawn Care Needed:

Check for lawn care ordinances that prohibit lawn feedings June until October.

Where permitted and needed regreen lawns with a feeding of a slow release fertilizer.

May is a good month to seed bahia lawns.

An iron only feeding, if permitted, often regreens yellow lawns and prevents excessive growth.

Fill bare or weedy spots in the lawn with the help of summer rains.

Reseed, plug or sod as the rainy season returns.

Avoid sodding shady areas during summer to prevent rot problems caused by the wet weather.

Cold weather did not stop the chinch bugs; inspect yellow spots and treat if needed.

Use a rain gauge to track the water your lawn receives.

Mow lawns frequently but don't catch the clippings.

Keep the mower blade at the highest level recommended for your lawn type.

Dig out or spot kill weeds in turf.

Replace constantly declining turf in dense shade with a mulch or ground cover.

Change the oil and air filter in gas powered equipment as instructed in manuals.

Landscape Care:

Most plants are recovering from winter damage; otherwise replacements may be needed.

Established plants usually do not need watering during the rainy season.

It won’t hurt to let most plants wilt a little before you water.

Hurricane season begins with June; it’s not too late to have your trees checked and trimmed.

Fill in low areas or add drains to prevent flooding during summer storms.

Establish moisture zones within the landscape to help conserve water.

Groom roses to remove old flower heads and weak stems.

Feed roses monthly and control black spot with a fungicide.

Add the tropical look to the landscape with heat loving foliage plants.

Plant hydrangeas where they receive morning sun and afternoon shade.

Complete azalea and gardenia pruning by month's end.

Replace declining cool season flowers with rain tolerant summer color.

Trim back 4- to 6-inches of new poinsettia growth to keep the plants compact.

Root tip cuttings of shrubs and foliage plants.

Transplant palms and sagos.

Feed shrubs and palms.

Give container gardens a weekly feeding or use a slow release fertilizer as instructed.

Spot kill weeds and add a mulch to prevent new growth.

Plant declining Easter and Asiatic lilies in the sunny garden.

Feed lilies and other aquatic plants in home water gardens.

Remove sprouts from the base of crape myrtle, maple and similar trees.

Vegetable and Fruit Plantings:

Harvest maturing crops and replant with heat loving vegetables.

Keep weeds under control as gardens decline to prevent pest problems for fall.

Keep weeds under control as gardens decline to prevent pest problems for fall.

Bake out nematodes and diseases by covering moist soil with clear plastic for 8 weeks.

Turn gardens and vacant flower beds over to edible sweet potatoes.

Continue to plant fruit trees, shrubs and vines.

Expect some fruit drop from citrus trees – it’s normal and often called the June fruit drop.

Feed summer vegetable plantings every 3 to 4 weeks.

Complete late spring citrus feedings.

Prune lower limbs that interfere with maintenance from fruit trees.

Feed bananas monthly harvest stalks when the first hand begins to yellow.

Feed pineapples in containers weekly; in the ground monthly.

Obtain seeds for late summer and fall vegetable plantings.

House and foliage plant care:

Give house plants a rest outdoors in the shade.

Repot plants needing a new container.

Feed plants outdoors every two weeks and indoors monthly.

Use a slow release fertilizer as instructed to stretch the time between feedings.

Control insects with a soap wash.

Remove declining leaves and stems.

Pinch the tips of lanky shoots to cause branching.

Trim faded flowers from blooming plants.

Add new foliage plants to indoor displays.

Source: Better Lawns



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