Debbie Roland, Master Gardener
There are many jobs to do in the garden in June. It is finally warm enough to direct sow seeds that don’t like cold weather such as melons, corn, beans, squash, cucumbers and okra.
If you need (or like) to grow in containers, try tomatoes and peppers.
Soon lettuce and greens will bolt or die from the heat if they aren’t in the shade. Try some 30-45% shade cloth to extend your growing season.
If your tomatoes are really growing like mine, it is time to get them some support to keep them off the ground. There are many ways to do this, but I find that a cage made out of 4’ tall concrete wire works best. Cut a 7’ long piece and wire the ends together. When winter comes and the garden is cleared, I just hang mine on the fence for the next year.
I try to keep the bottom leaves cut off both determinate and indeterminate tomatoes and tie the branches to the sides of the cage. I use old t-shirts cut into strips for this. Removing the excess leaves gives me room to harvest the tomatoes later in the year.
My prize peach tree, an Elberta, has set over 200 peaches this year. Sadly, it is time to thin the fruit to keep the branches from breaking and harvest bigger fruit.
This is also a good time to add to your mulch. Midland and Odessa both have free mulch or it can be bought at local nurseries and it is inexpensive.
Plant zinnias, marigolds, cosmos and sunflowers. They are all fast growers. Don’t forget to deadhead your flowers throughout the summer to extend your growing season.
After planting I want to just sit back and enjoy all the cleaning, adding compost and mulch, and planting that I’ve done in the last few months but it is time to tend to weeds and keep an eye out for unwanted pests or disease. A local Master Gardener once said that the best thing to have in your garden is your shadow. So true.
Please contact the AgriLife office in Odessa at 498-4071 or in Midland at 686-4700 for more gardening information.