June can be a scorcher or we can lapse into “Juneuary” with cold temperatures and dreary days that make us long for a real summer. But either way June is a great month for gardening. The weather has warmed enough to get those new plant starts growing and it’s not too terribly hot so we can enjoy being outside and keep those garden projects moving along comfortably.

It was an insanely dry winter and now our farmers and agricultural families are paying the price so please do your part and conserve water! Here are a few easy tips.
Water in the morning when less will evaporate and the plants are taking up water more efficiently so less is lost.
Direct water close to the roots where it is needed most instead of overhead.
Consider installing a drip system to save water and your precious time.
See more watering tips in posts from July 2013.

Pests and diseases:
This is the season for the pests to thrive. Prevention is much better than reactive control. Specific plantings and building bug houses are a great way to help those beneficial bugs.
You can visit our pest management post to help identify pests and comprehensive ways to deal with them effectively. Look for caterpillars, aphids, slugs, thrips, whiteflies, flea beetles and cutworms – boy there are a lot of them out there!  As a last resort start with the least invasive treatments:
– Insecticidal soap
– Horticultural oils
– Botanical insecticides
Fungal problems such as black spot or powdery mildew appear this time of year treat where appropriate with anti fungal solutions, trimming and by thinning to creating air flow.

Vegetable garden tips:
Start cooler weather crops like greens and cilantro in a shadier spot like behind your row of tomatoes or under your bean pole so they will get a little protection from the hot sun to come.
Deadhead garlic blooms so that growth energy is focused on the bulbs and use the scapes in a stir fry.
Pick those strawberries! If left to rot they will invite disease.
Cage, trellis or stake tomatoes and vines before they get to big and unruly.
Invest in a dandelion weeder and save your back.
Feed starts with and organic fertilizer or a composted manure or bio-mulch.
Thin your plantings of greens, beets, radishes and onion to use as micro-greens.
Adding a mulch can conserve moisture and help keep weeds at bay.
Squash (or any of the curcubits) blossoms may drop but not to worry this is a natural process where the first flush of male flowers drop after pollination. The second flush of flowers are the female blooms and they are the ones that will develop into fruit.
Resist the urge to cut suckers on fruit trees as it will only encourage more growth now.

Seed outdoor:
For your rotation plantings add – arugula, asian greens, beets, broccoli, carrots, chard, green onions, kale and lettuces.
For the first round of seeding – basil, beans, corn, cucumbers, melons, pumpkins and squash are all ready to go out.

Starts for direct planting:
Just about everything can now go in the ground! arugula, asian greens, basil, beets broccoli, brussels sprouts, carrots, chard, cauliflower, chives, corn, cucumbers, dill, eggplant, green onions, leeks, kale, lettuces, melons, peppers, pumpkins, squash and tomatoes.

The veggies are really coming in now! Greens galore, peas and broccoli, cabbages and herbs oh my! Eat up and enjoy all that hard work!