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June Garden Calendar

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Wondering what to do in your garden in a timely manner? The following suggestions from Oregon State University, edited by local master gardeners for use in the Mother Lode, can help give you a focus for your gardening activities. Tasks are divided into categories of planning, planting, maintenance, and pest control.

Oregon State University Extension Service and the University of California Cooperative Extension encourage sustainable gardening practices. Practice preventive pest management rather than reactive pest control. Identify and monitor problems before acting, and opt for the least toxic approach. Conserve biological control agents such as predators and the parasitoids that feed on insect pests.

Planning: Now is the time to construct trellises for tomatoes, cucumbers, pole beans and vines.

Planting: At lower elevations, it’s not too late to plant heat-loving vegetables and fruits. At higher elevations, summer vegetables can be planted now. Consider planting cantaloupe, cucumbers, sweet corn, parsnips, winter and summer squash and pumpkins.

Maintenance and cleanup:

  • Prune lilacs, forsythia, rhododendrons and azaleas after bloom.
  • Fertilize vegetable garden one month after plants emerge by applying a side dressing alongside rows.
  • Pick ripe strawberries regularly to avoid fruit-rotting diseases.
  • Use organic mulches to conserve soil moisture in ornamental beds. An inch or two of sawdust, bark dust or composted leaves will minimize loss of water through evaporation.
  • After normal fruit drop of apples, pears and peaches in June, consider thinning the remainder to produce a crop of larger fruit.
  • Make sure raised beds receive enough water for plants to avoid drought stress.

Pest monitoring and management: Use chemical controls only when necessary and only after thoroughly reading the pesticide label. First consider cultural, then physical and biological controls. Choose the least-toxic options, and use them judiciously. Some examples include insecticidal soaps, horticultural oils, botanical insecticides, and organic and synthetic pesticides.

  • Learn to identify beneficial insects and plant some insectary plants — such as alyssum, Phacelia, coriander, candytuft, sunflower, yarrow and dill — to attract them to your garden. Check with local nurseries for best selections. For more information, see Encouraging Beneficial Insects in Your Garden
  • Blossoms on squash and cucumbers begin to drop; this is nothing to worry about.
  • Control garden weeds by pulling, hoeing or mulching.
  • Control aphids on vegetables as needed by hosing off with water or by using insecticidal soap.
  • Watch for spotted or striped beetles on beans and cucumbers and squash bugs on squash plants. Remove the pests by hand. Insecticidal soap or neem oil may help control the small nymphs of squash bugs.

Indoor gardening

  • Move houseplants outdoors for cleaning, grooming, repotting and summer growth.

Written by Oregon State Master Gardeners and edited by University of California Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners of Tuolumne County.