Florida gardeners are celebrating
the return of the rainy season. It helps the plants grow but it also means
more work for us all. More time is going to be spent mowing the lawn and
trimming out of bounds shoots. It is also the time to make landscape
Many of the more durable cool season annuals have lasted into the warmer
months including petunias, geraniums and even a few small flowered violas.
But, as the rainy season returns, they are surely going to decline. This
means we need a new set of flowers that can take the heat and rainy
weather. Check out our list of June Plantings but some that especially
like this weather are pentas, bush daisy, perennial salvias, coleus and
caladiums. You can also use some of the begonias plus many tropical
foliage plants in the shady spots.
Some shrubs may not have made it through the winter and dry spring. These
too need replacement. Better select some hardy and drought tolerant types
for these locations. Also, all shrubs and perennials that have started new
growth are ready for a feeding. If you want to reduce a bit of yard work
apply one of the slow release products like Miracle-Gro Shake'n Feed or
Osmocote. These can feed the planting for at least 3 months.
Now is the time lawns can make the best growth. If you are allowed to feed
the lawn, apply a summer fertilizer application. Some good products
include Scotts Turf Builder Southern Lawn Food and Green Max. Both can
keep the lawn green and growing to help beat out weeds, fill bare spots
and resist pests. Check our list of Lawn Care needs for June to learn
about the pests that might come calling. Bayer Advanced has a number of
products that can help with lawn pests when needed.
June is full of things to do in the landscape. Many are fun and help keep
the landscape attractive and a great place for friends to visit. This
month is full of Tom's Gotta Do's.
for June, 2012
Fill the bare spots with new sod or
plugs with the help of summer rains.
Lawns have been dry and many will
recover with the help of summer rains.
As summer rains return reduce lawn
waterings to only as needed.
Feeding time is over in some areas of
the state where summer lawn fertilization is prohibited.
Where permitted regreen lawns with a
feeding of a slow release fertilizer.
An iron only
feeding often regreens yellow lawns and prevents excessive growth.
A dry spring could mean an active
Chinch bug season; inspect yellow spots and treat if needed.
Avoid sodding shady areas during
summer to prevent rot problems caused by the wet weather.
Adjust and replace sprinklers to only
water the lawn.
Track water your lawn receives; «- to
3/4-inch is normally adequate at each watering.
Keep the mower blade at the highest
level recommended for your lawn type.
Aerate and immediately water lawns
that are compacted, hard to wet or have nematodes.
Dig out or spot kill weeds in turf.
Replace constantly declining turf in
dense shade with a mulch or ground cover.
Sharpen mower blades frequently.
In the Landscape:
Trim or replace plants that have
declined due to drought.
Hurricane season begins June 1; it's
not too late to have your trees checked and trimmed.
Make plans now to protect plants and
landscape accessories from wind and storm damage.
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.
Consider adding rain barrels or
cisterns to capture and store water for the dry times.
Trim limbs and remove weeds that may
be interfering with sprinkler operation.
Check irrigations systems for broken
Replenish mulches to stretch the time
Add the tropical look to the
landscape with heat loving foliage plants.
Complete azalea and gardenia pruning
by month's end.
Trim back poinsettias 4- to 6-inches
after a foot of new growth to keep them compact.
Root tip cuttings of shrubs and
Feed shrubs and palms.
Give container gardens a weekly
feeding or use a slow release fertilizer as instructed.
Feed lilies and other aquatic plants
in home water gardens.
Trim formal hedges after they produce
4- to 6-inches of new growth.
Vegetable and Fruit Care:
Citrus tree decline has become quite
common; give your trees the best care possible.
Complete late spring citrus feedings
and apply minor nutrient sprays as needed.
June fruit drop often occurs with
citrus and is normal; keep up normal care.
Harvest maturing crops and replant
with heat loving vegetables.
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.
Install soaker hoses and
micro-sprinklers to help conserve moisture.
Turn gardens and vacant flower beds
over to edible sweet potatoes.
Continue to plant fruit trees, shrubs
Feed summer vegetable plantings every
3 to 4 weeks.
Prune lower limbs that interfere with
maintenance from fruit trees.
Reshape blueberry shrubs and hedges:
prune blackberries to the ground.
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
Form compost from yard clippings and
leaves; turn the compost at least monthly.
House Plants Chores:
Move gift plants outdoors to grow in
containers or in the ground.
Give declining foliage 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, stems and
Pinch the tips of lanky shoots to