October 14, 2016 ptillman





  • Gardening in June is a busy time. Everything is growing under peak conditions.  Cool season annuals need to be replaced with warm season plants.  Remove germinating weeds as they begin to sprout to reduce more labor intensive weeding later.  Prune excess spring growth and remove any dead or damaged woody plant limbs.  Deadhead roses to extend their flowering period and spring flowering perennials like rhododendron when they look messy.


  • It is time to finish sowing your warm season vegetable garden seed (e.g., lima beans, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, squash and melons). Plant seeds directly into the garden in small amounts over 10-14 day intervals to expand our harvest period.  There is also still time to plant slips or transplants of heat-resistant varieties of sweet potatoes and tomato plants.  Stake or trellis your tomatoes and vegetable vines.


  • It is also time to prepare for the coming summer heat. Soil moisture must be closely watched and regulated this month to avoid under – or over-watering as the weather changes.  Spread mulch and compost to help retain soil moisture.


  • Time to replace cool season flowering annuals as well as crops; and plant your remaining warm season vegetables before the month ends.


  • Stake your tomatoes and pinch out sucker growth unless they are determinant. If you are planting seeds from a seed package, determinant or indeterminant should be indicated on the package. 


  • Feed tomatoes with low-nitrogen fertilizer when fruit starts to develop.




  • Check your irrigation system (sprinklers, bubblers and drip systems) and make repairs.

  • Prune dead, damaged, or diseased wood in trees and shrubs; also prune hedges after the spring growth spurt.

  • Prune for fire blight in apple and pear trees.

  • Clean weeds from around woody plants

  • Place about 2” of mulch around, but not against, the trunks of trees and woody plants.

  • Be on the lookot for garden insect pests, snails and slugs, and diseased plants.

  • Turn your compost pile and don’t let it dry out.

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