Don Davis: Pay attention to your garden in June – Lynchburg News and Advance

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Don Davis: Pay attention to your garden in June

Don Davis is a retired Virginia Cooperative Extension agent. He can be reached at [email protected]

Don Davis
Your garden needs attention as spring turns to summer. There are more than enough chores to keep you busy.Pansies appear stressed out by this time. These cool weather flowers now are ready to be replaced with some heat-loving annuals that will bloom throughout summer.You can grow various summer annuals inexpensively from seeds sown directly in freshly prepared garden soil, including zinnia and sunflower. Cosmos come into bloom rapidly whether it is the pink, white and crimson bipinnatus species, or the yellow and gold sulphureus.This annual is one of the easiest to grow from seed. As the Wildseed Farms catalog says, “if you have trouble growing cosmos, take up golf.”Lawns undergo change this month. Chickweed, speedwell and bitter cress will go away while crabgrass matures and spreads across the ground, flowering and producing seeds to guarantee future generations of the plants.Your houseplants may benefit from a summer outdoors, where the heat and humidity will give them a boost. Most of them prefer a shady spot.Although flowering houseplants such as peace lilies prefer shade, amaryllis and geranium plants do not. They grow best in a partly- sunny situation.Now is the time to cut back old geranium plants to promote dense branching and heavy flowering. The stems you cut off can be rooted in containers of potting mix.Keep your roses fertilized and watered this month for a prolonged blooming season. You can expect Japanese beetles to show up around June 15, hungry and looking to eat roses.Deadheading becomes a major job in June. It is time to cut the dead flowers off bearded irises, roses, red hot pokers, peonies marigolds and many others.This practice gives your garden a tidy appearance while also helping to control things such as botrytis blight and insects called thrips. Doing it on a regular basis makes annuals stay in bloom for the longest possible time.Now that rhododendrons have finished flowering, you can prune them, if necessary. This is done by cutting back individual stems to a point just above a leaf or twig.Another practice to consider is fertilization. Using fertilizer this month on your roses, annuals and vegetables will pay off with extra growth.Tomatoes thrive on fertilizer, both organic and inorganic. Fertilizing on a regular schedule once a month (or more) through summer is essential if you expect a good performance from your tomato investment.They also like mulch. If you spread a three-inch layer of mulch around tomato plants, they will be more tolerant of hot, dry weather and have less blossom end rot than tomatoes grown without mulch.Supporting tomatoes is not optional. You need to get their vines growing above the ground as high up as possible to reduce rot and prevent leaf disease.Tomatoes will not climb on their own like cucumbers and pole beans. You have to guide their larger stems to stay on the trellis or within the bounds of a wire tomato cage.Don Davis is a retired Virginia Cooperative Extension agent. He can be reached at [email protected] Davis is a retired Virginia Cooperative Extension agent. He can be reached at [email protected]

Don Davis is a retired Virginia Cooperative Extension agent. He can be reached at [email protected]

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