Your garden is growing a lot during this time of year, so don’t get complacent! Stay on top of routine maintenance, such as watering, weeding, feeding, deadheading, and thinning/pinching back. Pay special attention to new plantings, newly seeded lawns, and vegetable gardens – be sure they’re getting enough water. Weeds can take nutrients and water out of the soil and away from your “desired” plants, so pull them as soon as you see them. Try to not let weeds go to seed, as this will add more unwanted moochers to your garden. Pinch back late summer and fall blooming perennials like Phlox, Asters, Sedum, Veronica, and Bee Balm. Pinching not only encourages branching and keeps the plant more compact, but it also produces more flowers and delays boom time by a few weeks. Pinch back 1/3 – 1/2 of the stems of a plant to maximize your bloom time!
Continue your planting projects through the month of June. This is a great time for all plantings – evergreens, deciduous trees and shrubs, perennials, and annuals. The threat of frost is gone, so all your tender annuals, tubers, and vegetables can be planted outside.
Container Gardens Start to Shine
Warming temperatures and longer, sunny days mean your summer flowering annuals will begin producing loads of blooms. Create colorful and balanced containers by choosing plants from three main categories – Thrillers, Fillers, and Spillers. Thrillers are the main centerpiece of the design, something to draw your eye and capture your attention (think Canna Lilies, Elephant Ears, Bananas, etc.) Fillers are medium height plants with mounding shapes that “fill in” the center of the pot. Choose a filler that compliments the Thriller in color, but has a contrasting texture for interest (think Lantana, Coleus, Pentas, Euphorbia, etc.) Spillers cascade over the sides of the pot, softening the edges and creating a colorful “skirt” (choose Sweet Potato Vine, Million Bells, Verbena, or Bacopa).
Depending on how early you started, you should be able to enjoy some fruits of your labor in the month of June. Peas, Strawberries, greens (Lettuce, Spinach, Arugula) and Radishes should be ready to harvest. Don’t forget to direct sow another round of leafy greens in the middle of the month so you can enjoy a fresh crop in July!
Reflect on Spring, Look Toward Autumn
By this point, the majority of “spring-blooming” trees, shrubs, perennials, and bulbs are done flowering and have leafed out. Use this time to reflect back on how your garden looked during the spring months, and think about what you would like to change. Start planning fall bulb installations now!