Image from @Gardenista

Keep your garden happy & healthy – here are a few June gardening tips: 

– Lawns and vegetable gardens need one inch of water per week. Use a rain gauge to track weekly precipitation and water supplementally when we receive less than one inch of rain.

– To prevent diseases, don’t mow grass when it is wet.

– Water newly planted trees and shrubs deeply (to the bottom of the root ball) at least once a week. They take 1-2 years to become established.

– Deadhead (remove spent flowers) perennials, annuals, and roses to encourage continued flowering.

– Cut back chrysanthemums before July 4 so they will be bushier and less inclined to flop. Other tall late-blooming plants can be cut back now too – like Joe Pye Weed, Asters, and Willowleaf Sunflower.

– Remove suckers and water sprouts from fruit trees.

– Wait to thin apple fruit until after the “June drop”, then thin each cluster to one best apple, and thin along the branch to one apple every 4-8”.

– To prevent squash vine bores, start applying Bt to the stems when the plant starts flowering. Also bury parts of the squash vine in soil to encourage rooting (so if the main plant is harmed by borers you’ve encouraged a “new” plant to root).

– Side dress vegetables six weeks after planting – we like organic fertilizers like Espoma Plant-tone/Garden-tone or Symphony.

– Pick vegetables when they are young and tender. Harvest daily if possible.

– Add plant supports to potentially floppy flowers now and support your tomatoes. We have plant supports and tomato cages available. Peppers benefit from cages too.

– Mulch prevents weeds and helps retain moisture in the soil.

*For month by month advice on gardening in WNC, we love A Gardening Guide for Our Mountains by the Buncombe County Extension Master Gardeners. This will be especially helpful if you are new to the area, but locals use it too!