Feed those vegetables, start hardscaping, container planting…
June is one of the busiest and best of the gardening months in Michigan. No more fear of frost, the vegetable garden is growing and perennials steal the show in the landscape. Many perennials are in their prime during the month of June.
Roses, annuals, tomatoes and other plants are very busy growing in June. The days are long and temperatures are warm. Don’t forget these plants need to be fed for best performance. Tomatoes for example need a good quality feeding at the time of planting and during the growing season. Tomato tone fertilizer has both the major and micronutrients needed as well as Calcium, critical for good cell wall development of the fruit.
June is a good month for landscape projects. Pathways and “hardscape” materials like stones and statuary add interest to the landscape. View your landscape as an outdoor living room. Take advantage of the longer daylight hours and warm evenings for outdoor living.
Most plants at Flowerland are “container” grown and not bare root or field dug so the planting season continues well into summer. Plant with confidence as you select plants from display that are already demonstrating their potential! Make sure to amend the soil at the time of planting with organics, compost or peat moss. As opposed to digging a hole and filling it with “good” soil amendments, mix the amendments in with the parent or existing soil 50/50. Do this in a sizeable area around the root zone of the plant. This work will help create a soil that has moisture and nutrient retention capability while still providing the necessary oxygen level and pores the root system needs. When in doubt about the water retention capability of the existing soil, try this simple test. Dig a hole about 18 inches deep and 18 inches wide. Get your garden hose and fill the hole with water. Watch what happens. Does the water just sit there for an hour and not drain away? You need to improve the drainage. Does the water drain away rapidly? You need to amend to improve the retention value for the plant. Finally, apply a layer of mulch on the soil surface of 1 to 2 inches in depth.
As we head towards the hot days of summer, consider adding polymers to the soil of plantings in containers like container grown tomato plants. These polymers help keep the soil moist in hot dry weather.
Pinch back mums to 6 to 10 inches above the ground until early July. This will provide nice sized blooming plants in fall that don’t become too tall and flop over in the landscape.
June is a great month for planting herbs. Herbs love the longer days and the sunlight it provides. Enjoy the aroma of basil in the warm sun. Use parsley as an ornamental plant border. Sage makes a great filler plant in mixed containers. Golden oregano is an outstanding and hardy perennial groundcover! Herbs grow best in a good humus soil with lots of sunlight. Generally herbs like hot sunny areas. Don’t feed the plants or at least do so sparingly, they provide the best aroma without fertilizer and are easy to grow!