Enhancing Your Garden, Plant Care, And Pest Control

Enhancing Your Garden, Plant Care, And Pest Control

There’s a lot to do in June for gardeners, and this month, it’s time to look at our flower beds and see what could be missing in terms of color, plant care, and taking care of potential pests. You’ll learn everything you need to know in this blog post. 

Enhancing Your Garden

It’s time to have a good look at your garden and flower beds and see if you have a hole somewhere that you want to fill in. You can easily do this by digging up really large clumps of perennials and divide them to fill in any gaps. 

Another great tip to enhance your garden is to buy bags of sheep manure and work a small amount, about two inches, on the surface of the soil around your perennials.

Next, you’ll look at your spring bulbs, divide them, and replant them with some fresh bone meal. Remember not to cut the leaves back and let them grow as long as possible as this will help them flower next year.

June is also a perfect time to prune back your forsythia. Your hydrangeas should have started to leaf up the stem, so it’s time to trim them all back to a nice, green, healthy leaf.

More Plant Care

If you have strawberry plants, put some fresh straw around the plant to keep them nice and clean. As a general rule, remember that strawberries can also easily go into your vegetable garden since you make hills and plant them about a foot apart. Strawberry plants come in a wrapped package that contains twenty-five small plants. One package is perfect for a family.

If this is your first year getting started with strawberries, keep in mind that the second and third years are when strawberries are at their best.

June is a great time to fertilize your rhododendrons and azaleas. And you need to be aware that you should never buy aluminum sulfate for rhododendrons and azaleas as it’s poisonous to them. It’s okay to use for evergreens but not your rhododendrons.

Pest Control Tips

Most pests like the tips of your plants because that’s where the growth is the most tender. Aphids—which can be white, light green, black, or red—tend to suck the sap out of your plants. 

A telltale sign that you have aphids is that the leaves will be all curled up, almost like a cigar. If you uncurl that leaf, the underside will be covered in aphids. Even after you kill the aphids, your plants will be a little bit distorted because the aphids were already sucking the sap.

Aphids are not that hard to kill, really! Anything that you use has to come in contact with them. If you have leaves all curled up at the tips of your plant, you have to uncurl that and try to spray it until it drips off so that the product you use comes in contact with all those aphids.

If you miss one or two, they’ll repopulate all over again quite quickly, so you have to be consistent.

Let’s talk about earwigs. They look like they can bite and sting you with their odd-looking tail. And it’s interesting because earwigs are considered a beneficial insect because they eat the aphids, but we still don’t want them in our gardens. They are normally easy to kill since they do not like soapy water. 

You can mix up a bucket of soapy water, and when you see one, spray it. For caterpillars, if you see little bite marks on your leaves and you do not see any insect, just flip the leaf over and sometimes you will see a little worm. That’s the insect doing the biting of your leaves. One of the best things for any kind of caterpillar is a product called BTK. For softer insects like slugs and worms, there is a product called diatomaceous earth. It will dehydrate the insect as they crawl through it. It’s very safe and even used as a deworming agent for horses by some veterinarians.

June Bugs

For larvae, you have to kill them when they are in the ground, since once they become adults, they will be flying around and mating. We recommend treating your grass twice a year, once at the end of May and once at the end of July or the first week of August.

Moving on to cutworms, you generally have to worry about them when you are transplanting your vegetables and flowers into the garden. They curl up and look like the letter C or a light little ball. Generally, they are less than two inches long, and they can vary in color, such as green, gray, yellow, or brown. They feed at night, cutting off your young plants. A good tip to keep them at bay is to take the cardboard inside of the toilet paper roll, cut it up into 2″ lengths, and place it around your plant. Additionally, if you place a bowl of cornmeal or wheat bran near the plant, the cutworms will generally be prone to eating the cornmeal or wheat bran, which will kill them.

Lastly, for slugs and snails, you can use diatomaceous earth. This would be the best product that we would recommend. With that product, keep in mind that when it rains, you will want to reapply it and keep an eye on the slugs in case there may have been a population explosion. Interestingly enough, slugs cannot resist beer. Leaving a bowl of beer will attract any slug crawling by.

We wish you a successful gardening month and hope that these tips will help you keep any pests away.