Minding Your June Garden: Things to watch for: Fruits Fireblight - inspect fruit trees for fireblight. If you had problems with fireblight last year, you will need to spray your blooms this year to prevent the spread. The best defense is a fireblight-resistant variety Flowers Japanese beetles - these pests will defoliate plants in short order. Keep a sharp lookout for them. If you find an infestation use carbaryl, which is very effective. Observe all label precautions on mixing and use. Do not use dusts due to the problem with application - a spray made using the liquid form of the product will work fine. Lawns Lawn diseases - continue watching for problems with brown patch and dollar spot in warm season grasses, especially if you had problems with one of them last year. Chinch bugs - watch for chinch bugs in your warm season lawn. Mole crickets - inspect warm season lawns for mole crickets this month. Eliminating these critters requires diligent work in June, July, and early August. Spittle bugs - watch for spittlebugs in warm season lawns and on hollies. White grubs - the bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis does a nice job on them, but it does take a little time to build up in the soil. Trees Bag worms - bag worms can kill a tree if it is heavily infested. Inspect your trees periodically - bagworms seem to like juniper, arborvitae, and pines, but they are will attack many broadleaf shrubs and trees such as rose, sycamore, maple, elm, and black locust.. Hand-picking light infestations works well; applying the bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis will also take care of the problem. Vegetables Garden insects - keep an eye out for corn earworm, cucumber beetle, and squash vine borer in the garden. Blossom end rot - check your tomatoes for blossom end rot on the fruit as it begins to form. This is usually an indication of a calcium deficiency. Place a handful of gypsum (land plaster) in the soil beside the tomato at planting (or later) to prevent this. Foliar sprays such as blossom end rot spray will also help alleviate the problem. Nothing will "heal" the fruit with rot on it, so remove and discard them.
Things to do: Fruits Spray fruit trees - continue spraying your fruit trees with a fungicide (Captan, etc.) every 7 to 10 days to provide the beautiful fruit you look forward to. Do not use any insecticides on the trees until less than 10% of the blooms remain - you certainly do not want to hurt your bee pollinators. The fungicide will have no effect on them. After the blooms have fallen you may begin to also spray malathion insecticide. Lawns Lawn Fertilizer - you should apply nitrogen to Bermuda lawns this month. You can also apply a slow-release fertilizer to St. Augustine lawns to help reduce chinch bug problems. Fire ants - if you have not yet broadcast fire ant baits apply your first treatment any time this month. Be sure to apply fresh bait, and do it at the correct time of day (fire ants only forage actively when the ground temperature is between 70 and 95 degrees F). Lawn Aeration - any time your warm season lawn is actively growing is a good time to aerate. David Parker relates that you should "aerate as long as you can stand it, then go over the yard once more." Lawn Establishment - if you plan to plant a warm-season (centipede, zoysia, Bermuda, St. Augustine) lawn, the best time to plant is in the spring and summer. It's too late to plant Bermuda by seed (unless you seed with unhulled seed in the fall). Wait until next fall for cool-season grasses (fescue). . Crabgrass and goosegrass - make the second attack on your war with these weeds this month. You will need an application of a pre-emergent herbicide this month to compliment the one applied in March. Irrigation - your irrigation cycle should be in full swing by this time. One inch per week is the appropriate amount for most lawns and vegetables (except sweet corn and yellow squash, which may require up to two inches depending on growth stage). Include rainfall in this amount. And make sure that you adjust your water applications with plant growth stage and time of year - one size definitely does not fit all for the entire year. Do not irrigate every day! There are a few exceptions to this rule (such as potted plants), but only a few. Trees Tree fertilization - apply a second, light fertilizer application to trees in June if there is sufficient moisture and conditions promote good growth. Do not apply if growing conditions are poor or if there is a drought. Pruning - now is another good time to prune most trees and shrubs. July and August are the months to prune azalea, dogwood, forsythia, redbud and rhododendron. They should be pruned after they bloom, but before bloom set in the fall. Oakleaf hydrangea and late-flowering azalea cultivars might also be considered now. Avoid any pruning in the spring and fall if at all possible Vegetables Some planting times for more common vegetables Cantaloupe - Jun. 15 - 30 Melons - Apr. 20 - Jun. 30 Okra - Jun. 15 - 30 Pumpkins - Jun. 1 - 15 Southern peas - May 1 - June 30