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To Do List - June




By Debbie Roland and Emmy Ulmschneider, Master Gardeners

 

I always feel like June is the last month before the blazing temperatures hit West Texas, so I try to get a list of things caught up that month.  Here are a few planting and maintenance tips to get your yard and garden through the hot summer months.  Before you even get outside, remember your hat, sunscreen, and dress appropriately.  For more information see: https://www.westtexasgardening.org/post/gardener-safety  The early morning is a great time to walk your yard and garden, plan for your morning’s work and check for unwanted insect pests.

PLANT

There is still time to plant ornamental plants such as cosmos, sunflowers, zinnias, Mexican sunflowers and salvia, along with clumping ornamental grasses like Lindheimer’s Muhly or Gulf Coast Muhly.  Your favorite herbs can be planted (or succession planted).  Basil, thyme, catnip, lemongrass, and lemon verbena are a few that will still thrive in the summer.  

 

If you already have these herbs, keep them trimmed to encourage new growth.  If you have a vegetable garden okra, black-eyed peas, sweet potatoes (Both summer and winter squash can be resowed or seeded now.  For more information on your home garden see http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/travis/home-landscape/edible-gardens/growing-vegetables/.  Watch for white flies and aphids on your veggies.  If you get an infestation the easy way to control the pests is with a hard blast of water from the hose.  Spray the top and bottom of all the plant’s leaves.  Always remove damaged leaves and put them in the trash, not your compost pile. 

 

MAINTAIN

Get your bulbs ready for next year.  Your bulbs probably still have some growth on them.  This is the time to divide or move them while there is still a part of the plant that is visible.

Be sure to pay attention to your container gardens.  Some plants may need to be moved to larger pots or just trimmed and cleaned up a bit.  Add a light layer of mulch to conserve needed water in the heat we all know is coming.  Dead head your flowering plants to encourage new blooms.  Some of your flowers may be fall bloomers like Fall Asters.  Now is the time to cut them back to be sure they are at their best in the fall months.

 

If you still have a lawn and haven’t replaced it with native plants, your lawn mower setting should be on high.  Leaving the grass longer helps to keep the roots cooler.   Mowing will keep weeds from seeding out making a bigger problem in months and years to come.

 

Water all trees deeply. Check your soil moisture; if the soil feels dusty dry it is time to water.  Remember to water at the dripline, the perimeter of the tree canopy.   

Weed, weed, and weed again! Get them while they are small.  Weeding is more work if the weeds are out of control!

 

PLAN

Now is the time to plan for next year!  On your walkthrough, do see a plant that you want more of?  Is there a plant that is not “happy” where you placed it? Are there areas of your garden that are becoming shadier over time?  Jot down your ideas in your garden journal so you don’t forget!  If you don’t have a journal just for your garden, now is the time to get one.

 

And finally, don’t forget to enjoy your garden or yard!  Being out in Nature, and that includes gardens, makes you happier and healthier.  So, get outside and enjoy the beauty of what you have created. 

 

If you have questions, call the AgriLife office in Odessa at 498-4071 or in Midland at 686-4700.   Additional information, and our blog for access to past articles, is available at westtexasgardening.org.  Click on “Resources”.


Photo:  YouTube.com

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